Alpena displays strong effort in loss to Central | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Alpena’s Easton Srebnik (3) soars in for a layup during the first half of a boys basketball game on Friday at Alpena High School. Srebnik finished the game with 16 points.

ALPENA — Once again, the Alpena High boys basketball team faced an incredibly talented opponent on Friday.

Although Traverse City Central had been on a hot streak, the Wildcats hung in the game until the end. Ultimately, Alpena was defeated by a final score of 60-53.

Late turnovers and missed opportunities turned out to be the difference in the game.

“I think this was a really good week for us. We played really well on Tuesday and we followed that up by playing hard tonight and we competed until the end” Alpena coach John Pintar said. “We gave them our best and I was really happy with the way the game went.”

The game began with JJ Dutmers scoring the first basket for Central, but on the next possession, Alpena answered with three points from Caleb McEwen.

Both teams spread the ball around in the first quarter where the leading scorers for both teams finished with five points.

But with 5:15 left in the quarter, Anthony Ribel got Central fired up. Ribel slammed home a dunk after getting a steal and gave the Trojans early momentum.

By the end of the first quarter, Alpena managed to sneak away with a one-point lead.

With a 14-13 lead going into the second quarter, both sides were determined to have the lead. Alpena and Central went back-and-forth scoring nearly every other possession which led to another close score at the half.

Ribel took over for the Trojans during the second, as he scored 14 points on four three-pointers. Alpena’s Tucker Bright went right at Ribel and scored eight points of his own, while also having a pair of assists.

The Wildcats couldn’t fully maintain the lead and were tied at 29-29 going into the break.

Central came out of the half strong, playing an intense defense while continuing to score on offense.

Alpena kept the deficit to single digits, but the Trojans finally separated themselves and took a slight lead.

Traverse City was up 45-39 going into the final quarter.

Even though Central just finished up a run of its own, Alpena erased it immediately entering the fourth quarter.

An 8-0 run by the Wildcats gave Alpena a 47-45 lead. All season long, Alpena had struggled to close out games, and once again, it met the same fate.

In the final minutes of the game, the Wildcats threw the ball away, leading to easy baskets for Central.

After the turnovers, Central secured the 60-53 win over the Wildcats.

“I thought we played with great effort all night and we fought and scrapped until the end. Even when things went bad, we always seemed to respond and pick ourselves back up and to me that’s huge,” Pintar said.

Leading the scoring for Alpena was Bright with 18 points and Easton Srebnik with 16.

Ribel was the game high scorer with 27 points, while Miles Smith had 15.

Alpena hosts Cadillac on Thursday.

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