The Alpena Community College men's basketball team ran out of gas on Saturday.
Playing in their final home game of the 2012-13 season, the Lumberjacks kept pace with Wayne for a good portion of the second half, but ultimately fell to the Wildcats 79-61 at Park Arena.
Lavario Smith led ACC (6-21, 3-14 MCCAA Eastern) with 25 points before leaving the game late in the second half with an injury.
News Photo by Eric Benac
ACC’s Shane Hentkowski moves past a Wayne defender to drive towards the hoop in a 79-61 loss.
ACC trailed 39-28 at halftime, but slowly climbed back into the game in the early in the second half. After a brief run by Wayne left the Lumberjacks trailing 47-34, ACC responded with a 9-0 run of its own. It was capped by a three-pointer from Kharri Dailey to pull the Lumberjacks to within four, 47-43, with 14:27 left.
Unfortunately for the Lumberjacks, the rest of the game became a case of close, but not close enough. ACC cut Wayne's lead to five three times over the next several minutes and trailed by just six with 9:44 left. Another small spurt propelled the Wildcats further ahead however and the Lumberjacks spent the last seven minutes of the game trailing by double digits.
"We just ran out of gas. We worked so hard to get back and once we got it to within four, they made a couple baskets and then the momentum (shifted)," ACC coach Frank McCourt said. "They didn't put their heads down, they got right back into the game and got it to within four."
Mikquell Jackson led the way for Wayne with 22 points. Terrance Whitehead and Shaun Duncan also hit double figures, scoring 11 and 10 points respectively.
Dailey added 10 points for ACC.
ACC struggled to keep up with a fast-paced Wayne offense, getting only 11 points from its bench, while Wayne got 25. The Lumberjacks also struggled at the free-throw line, shooting 13-for-22 while Wayne was 22-for-29.
The Wildcats 12-0 stretch to get the jump on ACC early in the first half as Wayne established its up-tempo offense that at times saw the Lumberjacks struggling to catch up. Wayne outrebounded ACC 42-29 and was able to draw a lot of contact to get the line. A trey from Smith with 10:05 to play in the half brought ACC to within nine, 24-15, but Wayne caught fire again and spent most of the remaining time ahead comfortably.
Saturday marked the final home game for ACC's sophomores-Berryman, Smith, Jake Strong and Shane Hentkowski-who were praised for their contributions to the program by McCourt.
"They've been superb. Berryman only had one year here, but Jake Strong and the other two have been leaders for two years here," McCourt said. It's impressive. This is the most northern school in the state and they hung in there."
ACC ends the regular season on Wednesday at Mott.
WAYNE (79): Price 3 2-2 9; Duncan 2 5-5 10; Parker 1 0-0 2; M. Jackson 8 6-6 22; Whitehead 5 0-0 11; Fields 1 6-8 8; Williams 0 0-2 0; Passmore 1 0-0 2; Fowlkes 3 3-6 9; Flowers 1 0-0 2; Sisk 2 0-0 4.
ALPENA (61): Dailey 3 1-2 10; Berryman 2 1-2 5; Smith 8 8-11 25; Hentkowski 2 2-3 6; Strong 2 0-0 4; Wickert 2 1-2 5; Gates 2 0-2 4; Lamp 1 0-0 2.