by Richard Lamb–Advance Editor
Showing effects of a long layoff, the Huron boys’ basketball team suffered a 50-40 loss to Whittemore-Prescott Monday at home. Playing their first game since Dec. 19, Rogers City lacked the sharpness evident in the first few games of the season.
Plagued by poor free-throw shooting (5-of-20) and turnovers (11 in the third quarter alone), the Hurons saw a halftime lead disappear.
“We played like we didn’t want to win,” said Huron coach Jesse Streich. “It is layups, rebounding and fundamentals. We have to work on all fundamentals. Our guards have to get better and our big guys have to box out.”
Both teams pressed most of the game, with the Huron press working better in the second quarter. That is where the team came back from a 13-8 Whittemore lead to take the lead after a 9-2 run to start the second quarter.
Alex Hincka started the rally with a 10-footer on the first possession. After a Whittemore bucket on a drive, Adam Belusar nailed a shot inside and was fouled. He hit the free-throw, the only make at the line in 10 attempts in the first half for the team. Then Josh Belusar’s explosive drive and bucket at the 5:37 mark came ahead of his steal and feed to Brendan Koss for a 17-15 Huron lead.
The teams tied again at 17, 19 and 21 before sharpshooter Deuce Tulgestka launched a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer to give the Hurons a 24-21 lead at halftime.
Both teams struggled to break the other’s defensive pressure in the third quarter. Rogers City took a brief lead as Jacob Hein hit an inside banker and Josh Belusar nailed a driving shot to make the score 31-27 with 1:59 left in the third quarter. Whittemore followed with the next five points for a 32-31 lead heading into the game’s final frame.
Buckets by Josh Belusar, off a nice pass from Caleb Karsten, and three points from Andrew Radke gave the Hurons a 36-34 lead with 6:03 left in the game.
From that point, Whittemore out-scored the Hurons 16-4 to earn the win.
Josh Belusar paced the scoring attack with 11 while Hincka added eight.
The junior varsity earned a 45-35 win over Whittemore on the strength of Brendan Hart’s 16 points. Evan Delke scored nine while Jacob Hilla added seven.
Rogers City led 10-3 after the first quarter and took a 27-19 lead into the fourth quarter.
The teams play in Mio Thursday (Jan. 15) and are at Hale Tuesday.