by Peter Jakey–Managing Editor
Onaway senior Joe Sigsby, the offensive sparkplug of the 2016 regional title team, has been named to the Associated Press’ Class D all-state second-team.
Sigsby finished his career as Onaway’s all-time leading scorer (1,147) and the all-time assist leader (number not available). He also scored the most points in a single-season (569) and has the most single-season assists (number not available). The Cards made it all the way to a quarterfinal game before losing to the eventual state champions, Powers North Central.
Onaway coach Eddy Szymoniak traveled to East Lansing last Saturday to see the title game. North Central won both of its games at state by double digits. They defeated Onaway 75-52; however, the Cards were only down by two early in the third. North Central will have Class D’s best player, Jason Whitens, back for another year and will be the favorite to win it again.
Ten players make first-team all-state and the next 10 earn second-team honors. A panel of writers and broadcasters decide the award, which is among the most prestigious in Michigan.
Pat Dunn, who is now at Adrian, made first-team in 2015.
Sigsby, a four-year varsity player, was a unanimous first-team Ski Valley Conference selection. He averaged 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7 assists per game.
“He brought leadership and knowledge of the game, that was about as good as I have ever coached,” said Szymoniak. “He was there for three heartbreaking losses in districts. His drive and passion for the game was second to none. That showed on and off the court. I think our underclassmen understand what it takes to get where Joe was. He was not handed it, it was something he had to work for. Being that kind of a role model is huge for our program. The younger kids see it.”
Sigsby’s scoring run in the second quarter against Hillman was part of a comeback that helped win the school’s first district title in boys’ basketball since 1989.
Szymoniak said if it was not for Sigsby scoring spurt they might not have gotten out of districts. “I can say that about a few guys,” the coach added.
Sigsby battled through knee injuries in high school, but there was no slowing him down, said Szymoniak. He injured it two weeks before districts in 2015, but also injured it during summer camp at Lake Superior State University before his junior and senior year season. He also sat out two quarters at Joburg after tweaking it.
Fellow senior, point guard Cortez Washington was second team all-conference. “He was only in our program for two years,” said Szymoniak. “He was a huge part our team. But watching him grow as a player, on the court and in the classroom, was something pretty amazing. He is a great kid.” The coach said Washington put in a lot of hard work.
“He took his game to an all new level,” said Szymoniak. Washington was second on the team in scoring and assists.
Senior forward Morgan McLean was an honorable mention in the conference, he averaged 6.5 points a game. He also mad the key free throw to defeat Hillman.
All are seniors, so Szymoniak will have his hands full trying to make up the scoring.