by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
There were two unhappy coaches at the conclusion of Tuesday night’s Presque Isle County clash in boys’ basketball in Rogers City.
Onaway coach Eddy Szymoniak was agitated that his team gave up a 17-point lead in the second half.
“Terrible basketball – we did not deserve to win this game,” said Szymoniak, after his team hung on late for a 54-49 win. “If we are gonna play basketball like that, we are not going win another game the rest of the season.”
Rogers City coach Jesse Streich was disappointed with the Hurons’ first-half effort. “We just dug ourselves too big of a hole…the effort has to be there from the start.” Streich believes his players need to knock down the big shots, especially on the home floor. The Hurons were 3-for-17 from the 3-point arc.
Onaway seemed to be in control the entire way, but Rogers City kept chipping away at the double digit lead. Caleb Karsten’s 3-pointer at the 3:42mark made it a seven-point game, 51-44.
Onaway tried to ice the ball, but turned the ball over. A few moments later, Deuce Tulgestka fired a 3-ball that missed and was rebounded by Brendan Koss who fed it right to Tulgestka for an easy lay up. That got the Rogers City student section into the game as they started a “Let’s go Hurons” chant. The score was 51-46. Tulgestka went to the free-throw line and made one-of-two to cut it to four with 1:39 remaining.
Onaway answered with Patrick Dunn getting a pass in the lane and muscling his way to the basket for the biggest bucket of the game. Alex Hincka answered on the other end with a jumper in the paint to get the deficit back to four, 53-49.
The Hurons last chance came when Koss fired a 3-point try that rimmed out. Billy Moran would knock down a free throw on the other end to finish up the scoring.
Dunn scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half to lead all scorers. Josh Belusar had 14 for the Hurons.
The Cards built an early 8-2 lead before Streich called time out, only a couple minutes into the game.
“I went over what we were supposed to be doing,” said Streich. The Hurons cut it to two, 12-10, on Karsten’s fade away jumper.
Onaway then proceeded to go on a 20-6 run through the second quarter. They got 3-pointers from Brad Brewbaker and another from Cody Whitsitt, who fired one from the quarry. Joe Sigsby had six in the quarter and added to that early in the third. Cortez Washington pushed the Cards’ lead to 17 with a layup.
“We need to play as a team,” said Szymoniak. “What get’s you those 17-point leads? A team effort. That’s what we need to do.”
The Rogers City junior varsity came out on top, 61-53, with four players in double figures. Jacob Hilla led the Hurons with 17 and was followed by Brendan Hart and Evan Delke with 11 each, while Matt Altman and Phil Grambau both had 10. For Onaway, Keaton Brewer had 22, while Randy Tibbits put in 20. The Hurons improved to 8-1.
LAST THURSDAY the Hurons hosted the Hillman Tigers in a North Star League battle. After one quarter the Hurons trailed the Tigers 26-8. The Hurons got within 12 with 6:13 to go in the half with back-to-back baskets by Hincka. Hillman took a timeout and got back on track as they led 40-19 at the half.
It was 62-31 at the end of the third quarter and the Tigers won 73-43. Hincka led the Hurons with 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Tulgestka had seven points. Adam Belusar had five points.
Josh Belusar had four points, three steals and one assist. Andrew Radke had three points and four rebounds. Jacob Hein added two points.
The JV lost to Hillman 50-35. Delke had 14 points and 14 rebounds.