Cards’ season-opening winning streak ends

by Peter Jakey-Managing Editor

Onaway’s season-opening five-game winning streak was stopped Tuesday at Mancelona, 76-58.

The Cards won the previous night at Central Lake, 64-48, to improve to 5-0, but had to get right back on the road the next night. It could have played a factor in the first loss of the season.

Brandon Dingman’s 42 points was a much bigger factor. He is Mancelona’s best player and could not be stopped.

“Defensive is something that we were really lacking in the game,” said head coach Eddy Szymoniak. “There was one guy who could score 40 points against us and we let it happen. We didn’t stick to our game plan and it came back to bite us.” Dingman has averaged 30 points a game since his sophomore season. It was his best night every against Onaway.

Szymoniak wants his club to hold opponents to 40 or less. “It was a disappointing game knowing we had to go into Mancelona, not 100 percent,” said Szymoniak. “They got to watch us the night before. They all came out to Central Lake.” The back-to-back games were the result of the Central Lake game being canceled late last week.

The coach said Mancelona, who had one win going in, was ready for them.

“Once you are at the top of the Ski Valley and you are undefeated, no matter what, they are going to come for you,” said Szymoniak. “Everybody is going to be playing their best against us. They were more aggressive than us. I was disappointed because we sat back on our heels and we pretty much let them dictate the game.”

The Red Birds are 5-1 and right where they were a year ago at this six-game mark.

Joe Sigsby had 33 points, five assists and five rebounds. Cortez Washington added 10 points and six rebounds.

Brad Brewbaker also added seven rebounds.

The junior varsity score was not available, but they won easily.

At Central Lake, Szymoniak said they started out a little slow. “They caught us a little off guard. We expected to go in and take care of business.”

Central Lake shot well early, but Onaway started running the floor and wearing down the Trojans. “We played pretty good basketball to close that game.”

Onaway was at Forest Area Thursday and then will be back home Tuesday against Inland Lakes.