HILLMAN-It didn't look promising after the first quarter, but the Onaway boys basketball team pulled away from Wolverine in the second quarter and never looked back in a 63-55 win in the first round of a Class D district.
"I give Wolverine a lot of credit. They played their hearts out and hit a couple of threes to keep themselves in it. I'm not happy with the way we played, especially defensive, but any time you come out with a win you're happy with it," Onaway coach Eddy Szymoniak said.
The Cardinals (16-5) took a 1-0 lead after Joe Sigsby hit a free throw 30 seconds into the first. Carlos Bautista hit a bucket a minute later to put the Cardinals up 3-0.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Onaway’s Joe O’Bradovich (3) fights for the ball against Wolverine’s Michael McNeil during a district quarterfinal game in Hillman on Monday.
Wolverine, lead by the offensive attack of Dalton Adkins stayed close to the Cardinals throughout the first quarter. It used a tight man-to-man defensive approach under the basket to throw off Onaway shots.
The Cardinals dominated on the boards, with the height of Joe O'Bradovich and Carlos Bautista opening up second chance scoring opportunities.
O'Bradovich led Onaway with 23 points while Bautista had 19.
A pair of treys from Andrew Prow helped keep Onaway in the lead, but Wolverine scored five points in the last two minutes to narrow the Cardinals' lead to 15-13.
The second quarter was when Onaway finally broke through Wolverine's defensive pressure. It outscored the Wildcats 20-5 to take a 35-18 lead into the third quarter.
Bautista started picking up blocks against the Wolverines, while Onaway's half and full court press created trap opportunities that led toWildcat turnovers.
Wolverine upped its play intensity in the third quarter and hit four three-pointers.
The Wildcats' big scorer in the third quarter was Morgan McLean who scored 12 straight points, including two treys to narrow the Cardinals lead to 44-35. Onaway held onto a 47-41 lead after three quarters.
McLean led Wolverine with 18 points.
O'Bradovich hit a trey 40 seconds into the fourth quarter to pull Onaway ahead 50-44. The Cardinals started to shut down the Wolverines using man-to-man and traps. Although the Wildcats hit a couple more three-pointers, the Cardinals were able to pull to a 63-55 win.
The Cardinals face Posen at 6 p.m. in Hillman on Wednesday in a rematch of a district semifinal last year, which Onaway lost.
"We know we let that one slip through our fingers last year. These guys are hungry. We're itching to play this game," Szymoniak said. "Posen's always solid and they're going to play us tough. We're going to be ready for them and we're excited to give them the feeling we had last year."
ONAWAY (63): J. O'Bradovich 10 0-0 23; J. Sigsby 3 4-6 10; C. Bautista 7 5-12 19; A. Prow 3 0-0 8; C. Cleaver 1 1-4 3.
WOLVERINE (55): C. Ogden 1 0-0 2; M. McLean 6 3-6 18; T. Shann 3 1-3 9; W. Goddard 3 0-1 7; T. Moore 2 0-0 5; B. McCauley 7 0-1 14.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.