October 24, 2014

AGS boys fall at hands of Alcona

By Brent Baker|Special to the Independent
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LINCOLN — AuGres-Sims' boys basketball team kept making its runs at Alcona on Monday.

But when push came to shove in the final minutes, Matt Gonyea was there to lead the Alcona Tigers, scoring nine of his game-high 11 points in crunch time to lead his team past the Wolverines, 57-47.

Gonyea missed the first part of the season with an injury and didn't face the Wolverines in the teams' first meeting in December. And despite his presence, AGS twice came back from nine-point deficits to get within one possession of taking the lead.

Behind some strong inside play from Nate Jennings and Travis Byard, AGS pulled to within 45-42 with just under four minutes to play. But with the Wolverines eschewing the inside game for 3-pointers -- all of which missed -- the Tigers kept pounding the ball inside, and Gonyea outscored AGS 11-5 in the final minutes to seal the win.

"Gonyea's really playing well now," said Alcona coach Seth Coffing. "It took awhile for him to come around. But I also think our guards were the difference tonight. They took care of the ball, pushed it well and got it where we needed to get some baskets."

The Tigers were also coming off a rough stretch where they played Pinconning, Standish-Sterling and Hale, but found that experience valuable against the Wolverines.

"Playing those back to back was tough," Coffing said. "But we scheduled it like that so we could be ready for districts. Hopefully we can put a little win streak together now.

"This was a game we felt like we needed."

The Tigers led almost from the outset, but AGS never let Alcona get comfortable. By getting the ball inside to Jennings and Byard, the Wolverines got plenty of points in the paint and got Alcona's Reid Wilson -- the Tigers' leading scorer for the season -- and Tyler Cole in foul trouble.

Alcona led 13-4 early, but a Kyle Gingerich 3-pointer pulled the Wolverines to within 23-19 just before the half, though Alex Cole answered with a fallaway trey at the halftime buzzer to make it 26-19.

The Tigers opened up a 37-27 lead midway through the third quarter, but Byard, Gingerich and Jennings combined to score all but two points in a 14-7 run to get the Wolverines within three.

Michael Kilbourn had 11 for Alcona (4-9), with Wilson adding 10.

Byard led the Wolverines (7-8) with 16 points and eight rebounds, with Gingerich adding 12 points and five assists and Jennings 11 points and seven rebounds.

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