ALPENA — The Alpena High girls basketball team found itself in another tough and talented game on Friday. The Wildcats played the Gaylord Blue Devils and lost with a final score of 59-40.
Alpena had a good start, but couldn’t keep up against Gaylord’s Relentless offense.
“We played an amazing two quarters. Towards the second half, we struggled in transition and we continued to turn the ball over. We need to get the ball up the court quicker and be better in transition,” Alpena Coach Laura Dubey said.
The start of the game and the entire first half were very physical. After a great defensive stop, Alpena was the first team to get on the board. Reese Wisniewski scored the first basket of the game and got the momentum rolling for the Wildcats.
Reaghan Fitzpatrick kept that momentum going, dominating on both sides of the court. Fitzpatrick racked up four points during the quarter, while also grabbing several rebounds and blocking multiple shots on defense.
Gaylord answered back to every single Alpena score and led after the end of the first quarter.
Going into the second quarter down 15-13, the Wildcats needed to be better on the defensive end.
Unfortunately for Alpena, the Blue Devils continued to outscore the Wildcats.
Meghan Keen had an outstanding quarter for Gaylord finishing with seven points on just three field goal attempts.
At the break, the Wildcats were only down 31-27 with plenty of time to make a comeback.
Alpena started the second half with many of its players in foul trouble. Gaylord on the other end had zero fouls committed in the first half and came out hot to begin the second half.
During the quarter, the Blue Devils scored a game-high 21 points led by Alexis Kozlowski. Kozlowski was a three-point threat all night and made a couple in the third quarter.
While Gaylord had a big third quarter, the Wildcats mostly struggled and fell into a big deficit. Alpena scored only seven points and was down 18 points in the final quarter.
The Wildcat’s stepped up defensively in the fourth quarter, holding Gaylord to just seven points and forcing many steals. But the offense for Alpena could not find itself in the second half.
Alpena was outscored by Gaylord in every single quarter and ultimately lost with a final score of 59-40.
“We came out really flat in the second half. Gaylord on the other hand didn’t. They scored right away and all the credit to them because that was where we lost the game,” Dubey said. “It was definitely disheartening but that was a really good learning experience for this young team,”
The Wildcat’s leading scorer on the night was Kiera Prue with 12 points and Wisniewski with 11.
Gaylord’s main scorers were Keen and Kozlowski both with 13 points.
Alpena plays Alcona on Monday.