Heading into Thursday’s Regional final contest the Chargers were looking to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since the 2013 season and even longer Alma was looking to advance to that quarterfinal game since the first time since 1999. The host site for the Regional was at Alma high school and the Alma faithful was there in abundance. The Powers Catholic supporters who had been great all season along with the 6th man as their called (Student Section) had come to show out as well. It was a great atmosphere for a high school basketball game.
Early on Powers Catholic got on the board first with a Malik Seay layup. On the play Seay got the layup Alma Forward Case Martin went down with an apparent ankle injury. Martin was able to return in the second quarter. Both teams would seesaw back in forth in the opening quarter. The Chargers led 12-11 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter both teams continued to exchange blows and change leads. There were actually 13 lead changes in the first half. Alma outscored the Chargers 10-8 in the quarter and led 21-20 at the half.
In the second half the Chargers came out looking to seize control. Noah Baylis layup got the Chargers on the board first off an Owen Lobsinger assist to give the Chargers the lead 22-21. The Panthers of Alma however would continue to answer every Charger hoop like they did in the first half and take a 4 point lead midway through the quarter. The Chargers then put together a run starting with a Deep Lobsinger three pointer and a steal by Jesse Carpenter who assisted Luke Phillpotts on a layup to put the Chargers back up late in the quarter. Alma would still take a slim lead heading into the 4th quarter 32-29. In the final quarter the Panthers would take the largest lead of the game at 6 midway through the quarter. The Chargers would cut that Alma lead back to 1 in less than 2 minutes. The Chargers had to play the foul game and sent Alma’s point guard Brec Alward to the foul line. Alward would make the first two free throws to put the Panthers up by 3 points with a little over a minute to play. Elijah Redds would cut that Panther lead to 1 on a driving layup. The Chargers would foul Alward again and he would split the free throws this time leaving the door open for Powers Catholic at 42-40. After a Charger timeout Powers Catholic would come out to run its game tying play. Jesse Carpenter drove the lane after Owen Lobsinger was getting denied and got the ball to Redds who was fouled on a jumpshot with 2.7 seconds to play. Redds went to the line and missed the first of his two free throws. Alma would call timeout and the Chargers would intentionally miss the second free throw looking for a tip out. Alma forward Paul Gadde would get the rebound but was tied up immediately by Luke Phillpotts. With 1 second to play Alma took the ball out and throw a long pass that was tipped by Phillpotts and recovered by Lobsinger however the time had expired. Alma held on to win 42-20 to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Chargers were led by Owen Lobsinger who poured in 14 points which led all scorers. Lobsinger also had 8 rebounds and Noah Baylis had 10 points & Luke Phillpotts had 7 points & 6 rebounds. Alma was led by Brec Alward who had 12 points & 4 rebounds & Marcus Owen Jr. who had 10 points. The Chargers led in almost ever statistical category except for the scoreboard. Alma would advance to play Ludington in the quarterfinal at Mt. Pleasant High School on Tuesday March 12th. Big time congrats to the 4 seniors who donned the blue and orange this year Cole Malenich, Tommy Hagerman, Malik Seay & Lucas Feick. These guys were winners and great leaders for our ball club. They won 2 district titles and appeared in 2 regional final games. Thanks to all the Powers Catholic supporters and families who followed us this season.