Sault. Ste Marie Defeats Alpena in District Playoffs
ALPENA, MI- Usually when you win a district championship you got to rebuild. Graduation always seems to hit good teams and the Alpena girls were no exception. The 2022 District 1 champions fell in round one of the 2023 playoffs as Sault Ste. Marie came away with a 42-23 victory.
The Blue Devils came out quick taking an early 8-1 lead. The Wildcats closed the first quarter on a 7-0 run, capped off by a three by Reese Wisniewski. The Soo made their run in the beginning of the second quarter as they scored the quarters first 13 points. They would go into halftime leading 21-11.
The third quarter was a stalemate as the lead hovered between 8-12 for the duration. Alpena struggled to generate offense, and when they did they could not string together the stops needed to make a run. Ferris State commit Claire Erickson was too much for the Wildcats. The senior led the way with 19 points.
Alpena never got closer than eight in the second half. The offense just could not get going against a tough Blue Devils defense. The Blue Devils would eventually pull away and advance with a 42-23 victory.
Alpena Head Coach Laura Dubey was proud of the way the team defended but knows the offense was not where it needed to be. The challenges of a young roster caught up with the Wildcats this season. The strides made down the stretch give reason for optimism for the 2023-24 season. “A lot of the top Big North teams this year will lose key players. We only graduate two seniors. We will be right back fighting for the district next year. The girls need to work in the offseason.