Wolverines can't complete comeback
MIO — AuGres-Sims hoped for a season-building win over Mio AuSable for the first time in more than a decade. Instead, the Thunderbolts had their offense clicking like it hasn't all season. Despite a frantic fourth quarter comeback by the Wolverines the Thunderbolts held on for a 51-48 victory.
"We got the ball into some different spots where the kids are comfortable shooting," said Mio coach Dennis Kann. "Our point guard is young, but he's making better decisions and getting the ball close the basket, which we weren't doing earlier in the year."
That proved to be a problem for the Wolverines, who shot 31 percent from the floor, including 4-of-18 from 3-point range.
Mio took advantage of several key AGS miscues in the second quarter. An 8-0 run ignited by an AuGres technical foul got the Thunderbolts rolling, with Aaron Kososky scoring six of his season-high 15 points in a matter of seconds early in the second quarter. And at the end of the half, the Wolverines threw away an inbounds pass under their own basket that gave Mio's K.C. Fox a gift layup at the halftime buzzer and snapped a 27-27 tie.
"We've been saying since the start, if we play hard and play together, we'll win a lot of games," said AGS coach Gordie Ostrander. "But if we don't play hard the whole game, we're going to lose.
"It's hard to believe we could play as well as we did against Hillman, then play Mio the way we did."
Alex Lutz led off the third quarter with a 3-pointer to reclaim the lead for the Wolverines, but Mio went on a 16-5 run over the next 10 minutes to open up a 45-35 margin with under five minutes to play.
AGS turned up the defensive heat, got two 3-pointers from Chad Taylor and a pair of baskets from Lutz to tie the game with 2:15 left. But the Wolverines wasted three chances to take the lead before Mio's Grant Price scored 3-point play for a 48-45 Mio advantage at the 1:11 mark.
Mio went 1-of-6 at the free throw line in the final minute to give AGS a chance. Jonathan Allwardt missed two free throws with 5.9 seconds left, but Matthew Wilson's steal and layup at the buzzer denied the Wolverines their final chance.
The free throw line was anything but for either team. The Wolverines were just 4-of-12 at the stripe, while Mio was 6-of-20.
AGS took an 18-11 lead late in the first quarter as Lutz scored eight of his game-high 17 points in the opening frame before Mio's eight-point run gave the Bolts their first lead.
Price finished with 13 points and Fox had 11 for Mio (2-5, 2-3 NSL).
Taylor scored 16 points for the Wolverines (3-5, 2-3) and Travis Byard added 11. Nate Jennings had eight rebounds and Lutz had five assists.
"We have a lot of kids who didn't get a lot of playing time last year," Kann said. "It was good to see them making some plays. It was a good win."