Houghton Lake holds off Mio rally in semifinals

LINCOLN-The Houghton Lake girls basketball team held off a second half comeback to upset Mio 49-41 in a class C district semifinal on Wednesday.

It will face Alcona on Friday at 7 p.m.

“I knew they had shooters and I knew they were going to work hard. Nobody was going to give it to us,” Houghton Lake coach Angie Dalak said.

Houghton Lake (6-15) held a 26-16 lead at the half, but hit only field goal in the third quarter while going 7-for-10 at the line.

The Thunderbolts (9-10) came out strong in the third quarter, picking up three treys in a row to narrow the spread to 35-28. It ended the quarter down by only 36-31.

Mio narrowed the Bobcats lead to 36-35 less than a minute into the fourth quarter and was seemingly just moments away from converting a big comeback.

However, Mio picked up only six points in the last seven minutes of the quarter while the Bobcats scored 11.

The first quarter was highlighted by low scoring and a heavy Bobcats press. Normally reliable Mio scorers like Jalen DeFlorio and Leslie Asman were held scoreless until DeFlorio hit Mio’s first bucket at 5:42 to tie the game up 2-2.

DeFlorio finished with 19 points.

Houghton Lake then outscored the Thunderbolts 13-4 in the rest of the quarter. It was led by Hailee Akin and Sarah Garrett both offensively and defensively. These players helped the Bobcats take a 15-6 lead after one quarter.

Garrett and Akin both scored 16 points for the Bobcats.

Mio came out stronger in the second quarter, but was still held back by the man-to-man defense of the Bobcats.

“We hadn’t had a game since last Monday and I think we came into the game a little rusty. It’s hard to have that big of a break. I think we just weren’t on top of our game,” Mio coach Hellen DeFlorio said.

HOUGHTON LAKE (49): A. Winkler 1 1-3 3; S. Garrett 5 6-10 16; B. Ripke 1 0-0 2; H. Akin 7 2-4 16; C. Akin 2 2-2 6; G. Carroll 2 0-2 4; C. Ignat 2-2 2.

MIO (41): L. Aman 1 2-5 5; T. Blamer 1-2 1; J. DeFlorio 7 4-6 19; J. Smith 1 0-0 3; S. Mangutz 1 2-5 4; S. Booth 3 0-0 6. C. Curtis 1 0-0 3.

Eric Benac can be reached via email at ebenac@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.