The Alpena girls basketball team had two goals entering Tuesday's game: hold Ogemaw Heights to 25 points and put up at least 55 points on offense.
After posting a 55-18 win over the Falcons at Alpena High School, it's safe to say the Wildcats were successful in accomplishing both of those goals.
Rachel Marwede led the Wildcats (4-7 overall, 2-5 Big North) with 15 points as Alpena turned in a stellar defensive performance that held the Falcons in check all game. Alpena had 19 steals for the game and held the Falcons without a field goal in the second quarter.
News Photo by James Andersen
Alpena’s Haley Prevo (20) looks to pass the ball while being defended by Ogemaw Heights players Jena Noble (41) and Makayla Brindley during a girls basketball game at Alpena High School on Tuesday.
"We needed one, it was an awful dry January for us. We've played a lot of close games, we've had some letdowns, but we rebounded," Alpena coach Jenny Poli said. "We sent ourselves a message that we can play, we sent our fans a message we can play and I hope we sent the league a message we can play."
Alpena led 12-4 after one quarter and extended it's lead to 24-4 at the half as Ogemaw never seemed to get in sync offensively. The Falcons nearly went scoreless in the second quarter before Kim Brady hit a free throw with 32 seconds left.
Christina Kollien, who sparked Alpena in the first half, added 10 points and Shelby Duncan had seven.
The Wildcats continued their solid play into the second half, hounding the Falcons defensively and scoring baskets with seeming ease at times, especially in the paint where Ogemaw struggled to contain Marwede.
"Getting what we're getting out of Rachel Marwede right now and her confidence level and the rest of us feeding off of the confidence that that girl has, good things are going to happen in the second half of the season," Poli said.
Ogemaw's best quarter was the third one as it scored seven points, but by then the game was well in hand and Alpena continued to cruise in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Falcons 17-6.
Sara Mairose led the Falcons with seven points and Shelby Killinger had six.
Poli was happy to see nearly everyone on the roster contribute offensively to the Wildcats' win and to see a solid defensive effort that saw Alpena displaying the hustle that's been lacking at times in the first half of the year.
"We had two goals tonight. I said don't let them score more than 25 and we need to score at least 55," All loose balls are ours. We've lost games because of hustle and we weren't going to let that happen tonight," she said.
Alpena's JV team earned a 39-30 win to improve to 5-6 on the year. Mikaela Overton led the way with 16 points and Taylor Genschaw added nine.
The Wildcats' freshman team won 40-39 in overtime on a shot from Meaghen Kruse at the buzzer. Kruse led Alpena with 17 points and Kesley Udell had 13.
ALPENA (55): Holmes 1 2-4 5; Salesman 1 0-0 3; Bourdage 0 2-2 2; Temple 1 0-0 3; Milligan 2 0-0 4; Prevo 1 4-4 6; Duncan 3 1-2 7; Marwede 7 1-3 15; Kollien 4 1-2 10
OGEMAW (18): Marshall 1 0-0 2; Hasse 0 0-1 0; Miller 0 2-6 2; Killinger 3 0-1 6; Mairose 3 1-2 7; Brady 0 1-2 1