Alpena, Mich — Both the Alpena Community College men and women’s basketball seasons have shown great potential this season, but have found it hard to translate that effort into wins and losses. There have been plenty of games that were close and slipped away for the Lady and Lumberjacks.
Despite the lack of checks in the win column, fans still pack Park Arena for home games. It’s one of those rare occasions where fans don’t prioritize winning. Most fans are just happy to go and support the teams. A win seems like a bonus to the Park Arena faithful.
Saturday’s women’s game was the perfect example of this. The Ladyjacks entered the game missing three players: Shelby Seaver has been injured, and Brooke Nguyen and Abby Larsen were both out with the flu. Alpena had no substitutes for the entire game. To make things worse for them, Taylor Livingston got injured in the second quarter and was unable to return to the game.
The injuries and illnesses left the Ladyjacks short handed for the majority of the game. Even with Alpena trailing in the fourth quarter, the Ladyjacks showed true determination. Dakota Prevo’s two baskets and Emma Jore’s three pointer were some of the loudest cheers that the crowd has given all season.
When Prevo fouled out, Jasym Schultz, Jore, and Kyra Feighner were the last three Ladyjacks left. Alpena was able to manage a few free throws in the time remaining, but lost 66-46. Despite the lock down defense and scoring troubles, Alpena never once looked down or defeated. The ladies had smiles on their faces through the entire second half.
As the ladies made their way off the court, they received a roaring standing ovation from the Park Arena faithful. It had to be a moving experience for the players and it was an ovation they certainly deserved. Alpena managed to play some of the best basketball we’ve seen from the Ladyjacks all season without having a full team. With a full team and bench, Alpena would’ve had a fighting chance against Delta. With the way they played short-handed they may have even won.
The crowd was just as loud for the men who led the Pioneers at halftime, though they ultimately fell 66-62. It’s been a season of what if’s for both teams. One thing remains certain: the Park Arena faithful will back both teams under every circumstance.
Fans can go see both teams at home one more time this season. Alpena’s home finale is on Monday against Schoolcraft. The Ladyjacks take the court at 5:30pm and then men will follow at 7:30pm.