AuGres eeks out win in home opener
AuGRES-SIMS - Dec. 2, 2008 - As first games go, it was probably about as much as AuGres-Sims coach Gordie Ostrander could have hoped for.
The Wolverines played very well in stretches, were solid in their half-court defense, got a disruptive performance at both ends of the court from Emily Lutz and held off Alcona down the stretch for a 49-45 victory.
But it was, after all, a first game, which meant that not everything went quite as planned.
"We made enough mistakes to drive me crazy," Ostrander said, "but we had the resolve to win the game, and that's really what I like to see."
The Wolverines scored nine straight points in the third and fourth quarters to turn a 35-33 deficit into a 42-35 lead. Shelby Schwiderson tipped in a rebound basket to tie it up, Lutz hit two hoops and Tonie VanSickle buried a 3-pointer to give the Wolverines their biggest lead of the night.
Alcona, which was helped by the Wolverines' 12-of-29 performance at the free throw line, came back, cutting it to two on Meaghan Olger's trey, and after a missed AGS free throw, tied it on Megan Brittain's fast-break hoop with 3:15 left.
"We had a lot of trouble getting back on defense," Ostrander said. "Last year we had Lynsey Svanberg and Kristin Potenberg doing that; now we need the other girls to step into those roles and not allow that."
Offensive rebounding down the stretch allowed the Wolverines to rebuild their seven-point lead as AGS got baskets or free throws off of rebounds by freshman Ashli Maser, Adriane Swaffield and Tasha Trombley.
Lutz made it 49-42 with two free throws with 1:10 left, but Olger buried another 3-pointer to cut it to four. The Wolverines turned the ball over twice in the final 30 seconds but Alcona wasn't able to score again.
"Every time they made a run, we answered," Ostrander said. "We got great leadership from our seniors, Emily gave them fits and Ashli made some big plays as a freshman.
"It was a lot better than we started last year (in a loss to Oscoda)."
Lutz finished with 16 points despite drawing Alcona double-teams through much of the game and Kelsey Heinrich added a career-high 10 points.
The Wolverines led by as many as seven points in the first half as the Tigers quickly got into foul trouble, primarily on trying to contain Lutz's drives to the basket.
Alcona got five straight points out of Olger on two fast-break baskets and a foul, to cut it to 23-22 at the half, and the two teams traded the lead throughout the third quarter.
Olger led the Tigers with points and Brittain had 11. The Tigers (0-1) travel to Tawas Area (1-0) on Friday, while AGS (1-0) is at Fairview (0-1) for its North Star League opener.