LINCOLN-The Alcona girls basketball team ended a grueling week on a high note.
Playing their third game in four nights, the Tigers didn't look any worse for the wear Hillman and went on to win 67-46 at Alcona High School on Thursday
Alcona (15-3) had previously beaten Rogers City twice this week.
Karina Cole scored 30 points and the Tigers set the tempo early. Alcona led 15-5 at the end of the first quarter and frustrated Hillman on the defensive end to take a 37-20 lead at the half.
"It was much better than the last couple of nights. We played more like ourselves and Hillman we know is always a really good team and we were worried about them coming in here," Alcona coach Brad Cole said. "But we played the game we wanted to play tonight."
In a game where it needed to play as close to perfect as possible, Hillman (8-9) struggled early and found its footing too late in the contest. The Tigers fared well in stretches against Alcona's bench, but once Karina and the starters stepped on the floor, Hillman couldn't keep up.
The result was a much different game than on Jan. 14 where Alcona beat Hillman 67-44 with the third quarter being the biggest difference in the game. Hillman was pressured on defense and Alcona forced turnovers and took advantage of numerous missed layups by Hillman.
Jensen Tchorzynski led Hillman with 16 points, but was limited to her lowest point total in more than a half dozen games. Alissa Jones added 13 points for Hillman and Vanessa Schook had 11.
After Kendra Cole drained a three-pointer early in the second quarter to give Alcona a 20-5 lead, Hillman answered back with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to six. The rally was cut short however when Alcona's starters came back into the game and put together a 10-0 run of their own to take a 30-14 lead.
"Alcona came out really strong defensively and they definitely set the tempo early on and I give them credit because they put us in a hole we couldn't get out of," Hillman coach John Kuzewski said. "I think from the second quarter on we played some decent basketball, but the game was decided in the first quarter."
Alcona was lights out from the free-throw line in the first half, making 14-of-15. The Tigers went 17-for-25 from the charity stripe for the game.
Kendra added 10 points for Alcona and the majority of Alcona's roster got on the scoresheet to contribute to the win.
Alcona kept the pedal down in the third quarter, opening the period on a 13-2 run that Hillman couldn't keep up with. Hillman's last big effort came in the fourth quarter when the Tigers outscored Alcona 15-2 to start the period and cut the lead to 59-43 with 3:20 to play.
Once again Alcona's starters rose up and Hillman was held scoreless for the last 2:44.
"I've been saying for awhile that we're having a hard time playing full games," Kuzewski said. "We're close, but we need to get where we play four quarters of basketball and give credit to them, especially on their home floor. We ran into a buzzsaw."
Alcona's JV team beat Hillman 55-29. Kendra LaFave led Alcona with 15 points, Maddie Lane and Keilee Elmer each added 10 points and Brittany Decker had nine.
Morgan Armon led Hillman with 17 points.
ALCONA (67): Ka. Cole 10 5-7 30; Ke. Cole 3 3-4 10; T. Harmon 1 0-0 2; T. Somers 1 2-2 4; S. Pierce 0 2-2 2; M. Quick 2 2-3 6; A. Terpstra 2 1-1 5; N. Walen 1 0-0 2; S. Schopfer 1 2-6 4; M. Feldhiser 1 0-0 2.
HILLMAN (46): J. Tchorzynski 6 4-5 16; K. Kenyon 2 1-2 5; A. Jones 5 0-0 13; V. Schook 4 1-1 11; K. Tchorzynski 0 0-2 0; E. Hunt 0 1-2 1.