Bay men play shootout
ESCANABA — Bench depth was on full display for the Bay Norse men’s basketball team in a 113-91 victory over Alpena Community College here Wednesday. The Norse had three reserves lead the way in scoring, including Ryan Arndt who hit four three-pointers in the second half to help pull away.
“I’ve been saying all season our biggest strength is depth,” Norse coach Matt Johnson said. “Ryan (Arndt) hit some huge shots there in the second half that swung the momentum back in our favor.”
The game was a wild one as both teams found success offensively. The Lumberjacks (0-4) jumped out to a 14-5 lead in the first four minutes. But the Norse responded with a 13-4 run to tie the game at 18 with 13:37 left in the half.
“They (Norse) got hot every time we made a run,” Lumberjacks’ coach Mark Jacobs said. “Hats off to them, they shot the lights out.”
After the Norse (7-4) tied the score, the Lumberjacks scored 18 of the next 28 points to go up 36-28 with 8:21 remaining in the half.
But the Norse responded again, led by Christian Alexander with a couple of monster dunks in the first half. His lay-up with 3:30 remaining in the half gave the Norse their first lead at 39-38. After the Lumberjacks scored on their next possession, Alexander scored again to put the Norse back ahead and they would never trail again.
“Alexander gave us a huge spark with those monster dunks,” Johnson said. “Those dunks got the crowd into it and gave us new energy and got us focused. We started clicking.”
The Norse closed the half on a 23-6 run to lead 51-42 at the break. They kept up the pace early in the second half, scoring the first four points and kept the Lumberjacks at bay the rest of the way.
“We knew we needed to cut into their lead right away coming out of halftime and we didn’t,” Jacobs said. “We weren’t playing bad defense — they were just hitting everything. I’m proud of our guys for their effort.”
Logan Guenther hit two free throws with 6:37 left in the game to pull the Lumberjacks within 90-77, but that was the closest they would get. On the next two Norse possessions, Arndt hit triples from the same spot on the left wing to push the lead back to 17.
“Our depth really showed tonight,” Johnson said. “We had seven guys in double digits. Coming in, we thought we had more depth so we wanted to pressure them to wear them down and keep up the pace. I think we were playing faster than they (Lumberjacks) wanted to.”
Johnson was complimentary of Alpena after the victory.
“That’s a really good team over there,” he said. “Throw records out, Mark (Jacobs) always gets those guys to play hard and they have some really good players. We took a step forward tonight by beating a quality team.
“I was really happy with our energy. We gave up 91 points so our defense wasn’t stellar by any stretch. Offensively, that was the best we’ve moved the ball all season.”
Arndt and DeAndre Magsby led the Norse with 16 points. Alexander and Marcus McKenney each scored 13. Alfonzo Fields had 12, while Ryan Robinette and Kobi Barnes each had 10.
Guenther led the Lumberjacks with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Tristan Smith added 13 and Cam DeCaire had 12. Garrett Miller chipped in with 11, while Jordan Baker added 10.
The Norse visit Milwaukee Harper College Friday.
Alpena CC 42 49 — 91
Bay College 51 62 — 113
Alpena CC — Guenther 23, Smith 13, DeCaire 12, Miller 11, Baker 10, Rice 9, Hopkins 7, Hogsett 4, Ross 2. F: 21; FT: 13-15; 3-point field goals: Miller 3, DeCaire 2, Hopkins, Rice, Guenther.
Bay College — Arndt 16, Magsby 16, Alexander 13, McKenney 13, Fields 12, Barnes 10, Robinette 10, Willette 9, Dean 8, Hardwick 5, Mattson 1. F: 14; FT: 17-31; 3-point field goals: Arndt 4, Magsby 2, Dean 2, Fields 2, McKenney 2.