ATLANTA-The Atlanta boys basketball team did all of the little things at the right time to start the 2013-14 season on a good note.
Taylor Juergens and Jake Chambers each scored 15 points and the Huskies defeated Alcona 56-47 in a North Star League matchup for both teams.
Clinging to a 34-28 lead after three quarters, the Huskies (1-0) finally pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Tigers 10-2 in the first three minutes.
News Photo by James Andersen
Atlanta Jacob Dobbyn (32) drives in for a lay-up while being defended by Alcona’s Trenton LaVergne during a boys basketball game on Monday at Atlanta High School.
"I think we had a six-point lead at that point, it just came down to taking care of the basketball on offense and scrapping on defense," Atlanta coach Ryan Marlatt said.
Atlanta withstood a 23-point effort from Trenton LaVergne, but was helped out by a struggling Alcona offense. The Tigers (0-1) forced several turnovers in the first half, but couldn't convert them into points and missed a number of shots close to the basket.
"We got outhustled and we got outexecuted. They executed well and we didn't take care of business on our end," Alcona coach Jason Somers said. "They didn't fall. We had some shots some open shots and they didn't fall."
Alcona held a slim 12-11 lead after one quarter and both teams battled to a 24-24 deadlock by halftime. After Jay Webster hit a trey to open the third quarter, the Huskies held the lead for good and used a strong inside-outside game to score at all the right times. On the outside, Juergens and Sam Burcicki displayed a nice shooting touch and distributed the ball to Atlanta's post players such as Jacob Dobbyn and Seth Teets to pound the ball inside.
"We knocked down some shots outside and our inside guys were working well for us. Seth had a nice game (and so did) Chambers. The pick-and-roll was working well for us," Marlatt said.
Alcona trailed 30-28 with 3:07 left in the third quarter, but a basket from Burcicki and a pair of free throws from Chambers in the final minute gave Atlanta momentum entering the fourth quarter. A basket from Dawson Forsythe pulled Alcona to within six with 6:08 left, but the Tigers had no follow-up offensively after that.
Forsythe added 12 points for Alcona.
Atlanta was able to cut down on turnovers and control the ball in crunch time and helped its cause at the charity stripe, going 7-for-12. The Tigers' defense couldn't do much to slow Atlanta defensively and watched players like Chambers and Juergens hurt them with outside shoots and drive inside for buckets.
"I thought my kids played really well, played well as a team and took care of the basketball," Marlatt said. "Conditioning this kind of year is tough for everybody but I'm proud of my kids."
Atlanta plays at Hillman on Thursday while Alcona plays at Au Gres.
ATLANTA (56): Teets 3 0-0 6; Chambers 5 5-8 15; Burcicki 5 0-0 12; Juergens 5 4-5 15; Webster 1 1-2 4; Dobbyn 2 0-0 4.
ALCONA (47): LaVergne 11 0-0 23; Jamieson 5 2-2 12; Yokom 0 1-4 1; Forsythe 3 0-0 6; Schram 1 0-1 2; Steiner 0 0-1 0; Lamatia 1 0-0 3
James Andersen can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.