The Alpena Community College women's basketball team's three game win streak came to an abrupt stop on Friday in an 85-44 rout at the hands of the Muskegon in a game that saw only one ACC lead.
"I feel like we could have played better as a team. Hopefully with the new year it will come along more," ACC sophomore Whitney Frazier said.
The Lumberjacks (3-4) led briefly after Frazier hit a bucket a minute in, but Muskegon started piling on the points. The Jayhawks used double-team pressure to keep the Lumberjacks off the board for minutes at a time.
News Photo by James Andersen
Alpena’s Kayla Shepard prepares to shoot during a women’s basketball game on Friday at Park Arena.
Muskegon consistently drove hard toward the basket with Krystal Geers generating most of its offense. She led the first half for the Jayhawks with 15-points and led for the night with 17 total.
Ten minutes into the game, ACC trailed 29-6. Sarah Kolb hit back-to-back treys within 30 seconds to pull ACC to a 29-12 spread.
Ashleigh Monticello stayed on the court for nearly the entire game, trying to rally up her teammates offensively. However, the Jayhawks continued to pile on the points as Sonnie Kernat three treys in the first half and 15 first-half points.
"We (could have improved) by not giving up as a team and keeping our head up in the game. Picking each other up and keeping everybody motivated," Monticello said.
The last few minutes saw the Lumberjacks slowing the Jayhawks offense. A few turnovers gave ACC some slight momentum, but the Jayhawks far outpaced ACC on the way to a 52-24 lead at the half.
The Lumberjacks kept a similar pace with the Jayhawks in the second half. ACC switched to a man-to-man defense, opening up a few steal opportunities that the Lumberjacks.
These steals opened up opportunity for a trey from Monticello and Frazier. Frazier's three narrowed the lead to 71-35. The Lumberjacks' renewed defense and scoring attack slowed Muskegon's pace a little, but didn't stuff the Jayhawks entirely.
Nine ACC players received double minutes on the court, giving each player plenty of time to rest and fight back against Muskegon.
"They have really good ball movement, which is something we need to move on instead of 'oh look, the first shot we can take, so we take it.' And we got to get better with bigger girls and watch the outside shooters," Alpena freshman Sandy Bischoff said.
Jasmine Jackson was vital for the Jayhawks under the net. She picked up seven rebounds and paced the Jayhawks in the second half with nine points.
Her efforts, combined with a strong overall team effort, consistently pulled Muskegon further and further into the lead. With five minutes left on the clock, it led 79-39.
The Lumberjacks kept pace with the Jayhawks for the remainder of the game, but it was too little too late.
ACC has the rest of the year off to rest, recuperate and regroup before it travels to St. Clair Community College on Jan 4.
"We're all going to be running for sure...just trying to make sure that when we come back we push each other like how we need to be doing more," ACC sophomore Amy Nowak said.
MUSKEGON (85): 6-1-1-15; K. Geers 7-3-3-17; A. Rodriguez 3-0-0-7; J. Jackson 5-0-0-10; T. Brown 4-0-0-9; A. Wierda 3-0-0-7; M. McDonald 4-2-2-10; Q. McBride 0-2-2-2; K. McKinnon 3-2-3-8.
ALPENA (44): W. Frazier 3-6-6-14; A. Monticello 1-1-6-4; A. Nowak 4-2-3-10; E. Nowak 1-0-0-2; M. Barkley 1-0-0-2; M. Myers 0-2-2-2; S. Bischoff 1-0-0-2; S. Kolb 2-0-0-6; A. Sexton 1-0-0-2.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.