by Angie Asam-Staff Writer
Tuesday night the Onaway Cardinals hosted the Central Lake Trojans in girls basketball, but it wasn’t just about a basketball game, the teams were playing for Maris Spaulding, a young lady from Central Lake who lost her battle with leukemia in 2012 at the age of 18. “It is one of the most influential dates on our schedule,” said coach Marty Mix.
Onaway led 12-5 at the end of the first quarter and 22-21 at halftime. When the buzzer sounded at the end of the third quarter Central Lake had taken a 29-26 lead.
Down by six with 3:30 to go in the ballgame the Cardinals were able to finish strong as they pulled out the 37-34 win.
“It was a see-saw battle. We had a total team effort with every player getting into the scoring column. The girls worked their tails off offensively and defensively and we were able to beat a very good ball club. Down the stretch especially we did some great things on defense to earn the victory,” said coach Mix.
Senior forward Lexi Szymoniak led the scoring attack with 11 points and also snared 14 rebounds. Junior guard Jade Galer also snagged 14 rebounds and had 9 points, which coach Mix described as huge in the win.
“We had a few errors in the first half but we made corrections at halftime. The girls came out with a lot of emotion for this game and it paid off,” said coach Marty Mix.
LAST THURSDAY the Cardinals traveled to Pellston to take on the Hornets. At the end of the first quarter Onaway led 15-7 and built the lead to 25-16 at the half.
At the end of three quarters it was 35-23 in favor of the Cardinals and they would go on to win the game 52-36.
“It was an overall good showing for the team. The girls played very hard from the start to the finish,” said coach Mix.
Szymoniak had a big night for the Cardinals with 21 points while Galer added 13 points.
The Cardinals are now 10-4 overall and 6-4 in the Ski Valley Conference. They hosted Mancelona Thursday (after press time) and will host Forest Area Tuesday in the final home game of the season with the junior varsity game beginning at 5 p.m.