ALPENA — Chris DeRocher and Aidan Goike have been playing basketball together since elementary school. The same is true of many of the seniors on Alpena’s team.
2017 saw the Wildcats finish 9-11 with a loss to Marquette in the district quarterfinals. Alpena won all of their non-conference games, but didn’t win against in conference teams.
“All the conference games are pretty big,” said Goike. “I really look forward to those. We just need to work on the conference games and the actual competition.”
The big mantra for Alpena this season is to finish their games. The Wildcats defense failed at the end of games, which ultimately resulted in losses.
“We can definitely score, “said DeRocher. “It’s just if we can outscore the other team and finish games.”
Finishing games is one thing, but improving defense is another. Head coach John Pintar knows that his team can’t afford to fall asleep on defense, ” History says if you don’t have one of the top two or three defensive teams, you’re not winning [a league championship].”
The Wildcats total 8 seniors and 4 juniors on their varsity squad. Their first game and home opener is Tuesday at 7pm against Bay City Western High School.