By ERIC BENAC
News Sports Writer
POSEN-The Posen boys basketball team hosted Au Gres Wolverines Thursday in a matchup that has, according to Au Gres head coach Gordie Ostrander, typically been a win for Posen.
That changed on Thursday after Au Gres beat the Vikings 58-46.
Ostrander spoke highly of the Vikings after win.
"They're a tough team to play and this is a tough place to win. Both teams were real scrappers tonight and I give Posen a lot of respect," he said.
The first quarter started out hard for the Vikings. Au Gres took a quick 5-0 lead on a three pointer from Ryan Caufield and a basket from Brett Maser. Maser had a big night, scoring 27 points.
Posen's first score came at two minutes in the game off of two free throws by Travis Sharpe. It took another two minutes before Lucas Litwinski hit a three and by that point Au Gres had worked up to 10 points.
Au Gres continued to score aggressively, with Maser hitting a field goal and a trey to help bring the score to 13-5. When Litwinski scored again at 2:26, he broke a two-minute dry spell for Posen.
Caufield hit another three while Maser hit another basket with 20 seconds left to extend their lead 20-7.
Posen began fighting back in the second quarter defensively, but still struggled to hit baskets. There was a nearly seven-minute streak between its last basket in the first quarter and their next basket with 4:20 left in the half.
AuGres continued to score, especially in the first few minutes of the period, stretching its lead to 29-7 with five minutes left in the half.
Posen's Nick Hincka then went on a scoring streak, hitting four free throws and a crucial basket to help bring the score to 32-15 with two and a half minutes left. Martin Mulka also contributed a field goal. A series of last minute scores by Au Gres, including a basket by Kyle Swarts, kept AuGres up 36-17 at the half.
Posen head coach Steve Hentkowski commented on the defensive pressure Au Gres brought against his team.
"I knew Au Gres was going to come prepared to give us a lot of pressure. That gave us a lot of trouble in the first half of the game," he said.
Au Gres continued roll offensively while putting defensive pressure on Posen in the third quarter. Brent Schwiderson hit a field goal and a free point to help increase Au Gres' lead 39-17, before Litwinski scored two field goals a minute later to help narrow the score to 39-19.
Litwinski and Sharpe then entered a good streak of scoring, with Sharpe hitting three field goals and Litwinski hitting a trey. Posen cut the lead to 44-30 as part of a 9-5 run.
The third quarter ended with a last second field goal by Hincka that brought the score to 46-32. Posen's offense was beginning to gel, but Au Gres continued to bring pressure.
The fourth quarter was where Hentkowski felt his team finally began to play hard.
"The kind of pressure they had to catch up helps drive them and it drove them in the fourth quarter. However, you got to play with that kind of drive all game and not just in the last five minutes. You can't win games that way," he said.
Hincka had a huge fourth quarter, scoring five field goals and was especially hot early in the period.However, Maser also had a huge quarter, hitting all but two of his field goals and hitting two baskets to help keep his team ahead 53-38 with five minutes left to play.
Posen began to pick up defensively and began stopping Au Gres' offensive more regularly. However, it was too late to catch up as AuGres continued its defensive pressure and offensive accuracy to end the quarter and the game .
Hentkowski discussed areas where his team needed improvement.
"We need to work on blocking guys on the board, eliminating our turn overs and increasing our drive. We gotta work on giving teams more defensive pressure to throw them off balance," he said.
Ostrander pinned his team's success on their pressure-based defense.
"We really put a lot of pressure on them in the first half. That aggressive pressure created a lot of havoc that we used to our advantage," he said.
Posen's loss puts it at 1-1. AuGres is now 1-0. Posen travels to Fairview on Monday.
Posen's JV team lost to AuGres 56-36. The Vikings are 0-2, while AuGres is 1-0.
Au Gres (58): B. Maser 9-8-12-27; K. Swarts 2-1-3-5; R. Caufield 3-0-2-8; N. Ecker 1-0-1-2; B. Schwiderson 4-2-4-10; J. Pendred 1-4-7-6.
Posen (46): M. Mulka 1-1-3-3; T. Sharpe 4-2-3-10; L. Litwinski 3-2-2-10; N. Hincka 7-5-7-20; W. Beach 1-1-2-3; A. Kwiecien 0-0-2-0.