WELLS - The Escanaba Eskymos gave the Alpena Wildcats more than they could handle Friday night as they completed the 9-2 rout to improve to 13-3.
Escanaba was clearly the aggressor to start the contest.
"Esky is the quickest team I've seen," said Wildcats coach Pete Doubek. "I warned our kids that they were going to come out fast. Their floor check was just awesome."
Nick Vandermissen struck first, taking the puck all the way in from the blue line off a pass from Levi Wunder to put the Eskymos on top 1-0.
Alpena (7-8-1) tried to even the score, but goalie Nick LeMire was able to keep them at bay with three saves in under a minute of play. On the other end, Vandermissen came up with a second goal off some great passing from Derek Chaillier and Levi Wunder, and the Wildcats found themselves in a 2-0 hole 10 minutes into the game.
However, a bad pass by the Eskymos deflected off the boards and opened up the tip shot opportunity for Alpena's Zachery Nash, and just like that, the Wildcats were right back in it.
The Eskymos controlled the puck for the majority of the period, but one small mistake allowed Alpena to hang around, at least momentarily.
Just 1:37 into the second period, Quintin McCarthy scored his first goal of the season to put Escanaba up 3-1. Shortly afterward, The Eskymos earned their first power play opportunity, and they looked determined to take advantage of it.
Wunder put in his 27th goal of the season on a backhand shot, and the Wildcats' hopes began to dwindle. Steve Wood tapped in a goal minutes later off a nice setup from Jake Eastin on a back-handed pass, and the rout was well underway as the Eskymos put themselves ahead 5-1.
Alpena scored one more goal in the contest on a pass from the far boards that was blasted in by Jared Kwiatkowski. They may have been down 5-2, but that goal was enough to bring the Wildcats back to life as the Eskymos found themselves stuck in their own zone.
"I was proud of my kids for not giving up," Doubek said.
But the momentum shift would be short-lived. Escanaba went back to crowding the Alpena zone, and Dylan Gauthier scored his first goal of the year to get his team going again.
That was followed by another Escanaba power play, and just 11 seconds in Jake Eastin drilled in a goal that was assisted by Vandermissen and Wunder. With that, Wunder set the school record with 50 points on a season.
Both teams finished with 12 penalties, and the penalty box was a full house as the game drew to a close. Alpena's Jared Plume received a disqualification for referee contact, and there were slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct calls being handed out like candy.
"It got out of hand at the end," said Escanaba coach Tim McCarthy, "but their team hustled well. They came out, they fought us. We just had really good speed and effort in their zone."
The two teams will play again at 1 p.m. today at Wells.
Arenac Eastern 44
TWINING-The Posen girls basketball team continued its undefeated streak on Friday against Arenac Eastern in a 66-44 win that gave coach Karl Momrik his 100th career win.
The win also guarantees Posen at least a share of the North Star League title.
The first quarter saw Posen up 21-12 while the half ended 33-21. The third quarter ended with Posen having a solid 46-30 lead.
"They played us really tough tonight. It was a really good game for us to experience to prepare us for the upcoming games and tournaments. We knew they would fight hard and they didn't let us down," Momrik said.
Korynn Hincka scored a career-high 39 points for Posen. Anna Couture scored nine points and contributed a lot of assists.
Arenac's leading scorers were Brooke Sendo with 15 points and Brooke Schutte added 10.
Posen is now 16-0 overall and 11-0 in conference play. The Vikings play at home next Thursday against Hale and can wrap up the league title.
Alma 65, Alcona 60
ALMA-The Alcona girls suffered their first loss in 10 games against Alma on Friday, losing 65-60.
The first quarter saw Alcona up 22-16 while the half ended with the game tied at 32. The third quarter ended with a tight 44-43 Alcona lead, but Alma took the lead in the fourth quarter and eventually won
"We did everything but finish tonight. They were a very scrappy team. We let this one get away. I hope we learn from this," Alcona coach Brad Cole said.
Kendra and Karina Cole both got double-doubles on the night for Alcona. Kendra scored 19 points and had 12 rebounds while Kendra scored 16 points and pulled down 17 rebounds. Nikki Smith put on a good performance with eight points and five steals.
Alcona is now 10-2 overall and hosts Hillman on Monday.
Mio 49, Hillman 22
MIO-A 14-0 run to open the second half sent the Mio boys basketball team cruising to a 49-22 win over Hillman on Friday to improve to 12-0 on the season.
Micah Thomey scored 15 points and added six assists for the Thunderbolts (10-0 North Star League) and Ben Lubitz chipped in with 12 points.
Mio held Hillman to less than 10 points in each quarter and led 21-12 at halftime.
The first six minutes plus of the second half spelled doom for the Tigers (8-4, 7-3 NSL) who didn't score a point until two and a half minutes remained in the third quarter. Hillman shot just 5-for-43 from the field for the game.
"Give credit to Mio, they played one of the stingier defenses we've seen all year and they lived up to their No. 8 ranking," Hillman coach Eric Muszynski said. "They did things to us tonight that we haven't seen all year."
Mio outscored Hillman 16-5 in the third quarter and 12-5 in the final period.
Mason VanPamel paced Hillman with 11 points.
Mio plays at Whittemore-Prescott on Tuesday and Hillman hosts Alcona on Wednesday.
Atlanta 63, Au Gres 59
ATLANTA-Garrett Badgero scored 25 points and Jake Chambers added 20 points as the Atlanta boys basketball team beat Au Gres 63-59 on Friday.
Atlanta trailed 17-10 after the first quarter, but outscored the Eagles 22-14 in the second period to take a 32-31 lead. The second half was a tight one that saw the Huskies outscore Au Gres 31-28 to win the game.
Brett Maiser led Au Gres with 19 points.
Hale 49, Fairview 40
FAIRVIEW-The Fairview boys basketball team's comeback attempt fall just short on Friday as the Eagles to Hale 49-40.
Hale led 22-18 and pushed its lead up to 16 points in the third quarter, outscoring Fairview (4-9) 18-6. Fairview battled back in the fourth quarter, besting Hale 16-9 in the period, but ran out of time.
"The third quarter was the difference," Fairview coach Rick Ebert said. "We battled back, but we couldn't make a free throw, couldn't make a short."
Kasson Willobee led Fairview with 13 points, Hudson Szubelak added 12 and Austin Handrich had 10.
Italo Cicotti paced Hale with 13 points.
Fairview hosts Oscoda today.
Tawas 52, Alcona 41
TAWAS-The Tawas boys basketball team bested Alcona on Friday in a battle of Huron Shores Conference unbeatens, defeating the Tigers 52-41.
Chaz Coffin led the Braves (5-6, 3-0 Huron Shores) with 16 points and Jake Salwey added 12 points.
Tawas led 31-19 at the half and kept in control from there, outscoring Alcona 16-12 in the third quarter and 15-10 in the fourth quarter.
Trenton LaVergne led Alcona (7-3, 2-1 Huron Shores) with 16 points and Jared Steiner added nine.
Tawas hosts Gladwin on Wednesday and Alcona travels to Rogers City on Tuesday.
Posen 52, Arenac Eastern 48
TWINING-The Posen boys basketball team came up with a big 52-48 win against Arenac Eastern on Friday in a match head coach Steve Hentkowski said was very tough.
"It was an extremely physical hard fought victory, especially in the fourth quarter," he said.
The first quarter saw Arenac up 9-6 while the half ended with Posen up 22-19. The third quarter ended 39-28 in Posen's favor while the fourth quarter saw a come back by Arenac fall short as Posen held the Eagles off.
"One of the keys to tonight's victory was our man to man defensive. It really gave them (Arenac) problems in the second and third quarters, which was where we made our vital scoring runs," Hentkowski said.
Top scorers for Posen included Nick Hincka with 16 points. Martin Mulka had a solid night with 14 points, while Warren Beach helped out with eight points. John Zabroney came off the bench to play a solid game with eight points.
Arenac's top scorer was Cody Yocom with 18 while Tyler Card contributed 12.
Posen is now 6-7 overall and 4-6 in the North Star League.