ALPENA — Traverse City West has a regional date with Mount Pleasant on Monday.
The Titans put five players in double figures Friday night to stun Big North Conference champion Alpena 61-47 in the Class A district basketball final here.
“It was a packed house, not an empty seat,” West coach Greg Immink said. “The announcers before the game said this was the largest crowd they’ve ever had here. It’s what high school basketball is all about. It was an electric atmosphere. Our guys really took it heart and played their hearts out.”
Alpena (20-2) beat the Titans (12-10) twice during the season, including a last-second 72-70 verdict at West three weeks ago.
“We’ve been close all year,” Immink said. “For our guys to come through at the end and win a tight game — something we’ve struggled with all year — is pretty special. We’re really excited right now.”
West trailed 13-11 after the first quarter and 28-24 at half. It was 28-21 before K.J. Sayer hit a 3-pointer with one second left.
“That gave us the momentum to turn things around,” Immink said. “That was probably the biggest shot of the game.”
West surged to a 43-39 lead after three quarters, thanks in part to the perimeter shooting of Tristen Roman. He connected on three consecutive 3-pointers as the Titans went from three down to six up. West was able to sustain that lead the rest of the way.
Roman led a balanced Titan attack with 12 points. Alex Scott added 11 and Stephan Sheppard, Zack McGuire and Thiyo Lukusa 10 apiece. Lukusa also pulled down 10 rebounds. Rebounding turned out to be a key in the game.
“In the first half we didn’t rebound very well. They had way too many shots,” Immink said. “In the second half we rebounded and that changed the game.”