by Richard Lamb–Advance Editor
One team moved on while another team ended its season at district play Monday in Posen. The Rogers City boys defeated Wolverine 67-38 while Posen fell to Hillman 65-40.
The Hurons were to play the Vanderbilt Yellowjackets Wednesday (after press time) followed by Onaway’s game with undefeated Hillman. The winners of those games play in Friday’s district championship game at 6 p.m. in Posen.
Onaway took out Hillman in last year’s district championship in Wolverine, and has been steadily improving all season long. Hillman defeated Rogers City in two hotly-contested games this season.
In Monday’s game, streak-shooting junior guard Phil Grambau nailed 3-pointers on the first two Huron possessions to set a brisk pace. Grambau had eight points in the first quarter. Jake Hilla’s 3-pointer at the 4:28 mark of the first quarter regained the lead for good for Rogers City.
A 12-2 run over the next seven minutes swelled the Huron lead to 25-14. A nice pass from Matt Altman, who led the Hurons with seven assists, to Hilla gave the Hurons the 11-point margin. Hilla had eight points in the frame.
Brendan Koss had eight, mostly on drives to the hoop, while Andrew Radke scored six in the third quarter. A drive by Koss at the 4:10 mark started another 12-2 run over a two-minute span.
Rogers City led 47-30 at the end of the third quarter.
Deuce Tulgestka drained a 3-pointer from the corner to start a 13-0 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to seal the win. Koss led the team in scoring with 13 while Grambau had 12 and Hilla added 11. Nine players cracked the scoreboard for the Hurons.
Evan Delke led the team in rebounds with eight.
“In the first part of the game we had a lot of missed opportunities. We missed a lot of easy ones that we should have hit,” said Huron coach Matt Ponik.
Ponik was pleased with the way the team moved the ball and played defense in the second half.
“We finally drove to the hoop, finished strong and clamed down and played within ourselves. I think we tried to do too much in the first half,” Ponik said.
Posen (3-17) ran into undefeated Hillman in the second game of the evening. The ever-pressing Tigers gave Posen fits in the early going, running up a 6-0 lead. Izaiah Hincka got the Vikings’ first hoop at the 5:15 mark of the first quarter, snaring his own rebound for a putback. A 3-pointer by Robert Fisher, one of three he had in the contest, cut the Hillman lead to 17-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Another 3-pointer by Fisher and a banker from Hincka cut the lead to 19-13 with 6:49 left in the first half. But a 13-0 run by the Tigers closed out the first half with Hillman leading 32-13. Hillman added to its lead by scoring the first 10 points of the second half to build a comfortable lead.
Hillman outscored Posen by a slim 33-27 margin in the second half. Dylan Schuch’s 3-pointer at the buzzer capped the season for the Vikings.
“The first time we played Hillman we lost by 75. The next time we played Hillman we lost by 32. This time we lost by 25. The first time we played them we scored 16. The second time we played them we scored 29 and tonight we scored 40. As a coach you can’t be mad about forward progression. You can’t be upset if you are getting better every time you play,” Keller said.
Fisher and Jared Sharpe each scored nine points, as both players hit three 3-pointers each. Hincka scored eight points for Posen.
The winner of the district tournament plays at 5:15 p.m. Monday in the St. Ignace regional. Updates on Wednesday’s games will appear on PIAdvance.com.