Alcona, Posen girls hoops team tipping off in regional action tonight
The girls basketball district playoffs have come and gone with most area teams getting eliminated.
However, two area teams won district championships this year and are heading to separate regional playoffs: Alcona and Posen.
Alcona (19-3) faces Beaverton half an hour after the 6 p.m. Charlevoix-McBain game at Sanford-Merdian. The Tigers already have some experience with the Beavers (15-6) and have watched tapes on them all weekend in preparation.
“We got a chance to play them in camp. We match up really well with them. You couldn’t draw up a more equal line up,” Alcona coach Brad Cole said.
Although the Tigers beat the Beavers twice in camp, Cole is not taking it for granted.
“Camp is camp. It’s not a good way to gauge a team and how they can play in a tournament. We’ve scouted them and they can handle pressure pretty well, but I don’t think it was as intense as our pressure,” Cole said.
Alcona favors a fast paced offensive game that relies on the speed of players like seniors Karina Cole and Megan Quick. It utilizes full court passes, fast breaks and precision positioning.
“We watched the tape when (Beaverton) played against Beal City (in the district finals). Both teams looked exhausted at the end. We are in really good shape and we can play at a high rate the whole time,” Cole said.
Defensively, the Beavers utilize half and full court presses that could slow down Alcona’s game.
“If they pressure us, we have to have real good ball handling from Megan (Quick). We don’t normally do press breaks because we can usually dribble through,” Cole said.
If Alcona wins, it will face the other winner on Thursday at 7 p.m.
For Posen (23-0), this year’s regional looks a lot like last year’s: a semifinal matchup against Pellston.
Posen beat Pellston 69-25 last year in Gaylord. This year it plays in Pellston after the 6 p.m. Brimley-Engadine game.
The Vikings may have easily handled the Hornets last year, but Karl Momrik knows very little about his opponent’s capabilities this year.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever known less about a team going into a tournament game. I know they were at our last game scouting us out and I give them credit for that,” Momrik said.
Most of Pellston’s squad from last year has graduated and the Hornets have a fairly small squad. Hannah Carter, Ainsley Maclean and Kelly Lewis have all shown the ability to reach double figures for the Hornets.
However, Posen has a perennial ace-in-the-pocket with Korynn Hincka. Hincka averages 27 points and more than 10 rebounds. The Vikings also have Ashley Meyers, who scored a career-high 27 points against Onaway in the district final.
Momrik is also looking for a good effort from sophomore point-guard Jenna Hincka.
“Jenna has been stepping up in the tournament so far. We like the fact that Jenna is scoring a little bit more. She’s definitely capable of double-digit games,” Momrik said. “We don’t know them, but we’re just going to play our game. Playing like that has gotten us this far and we’re not changing for anybody,” he said.
If Posen wins, it will face the winner of the other semifinal on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.