Posen gets rewarded

Vikings use hot start to top Cardinals at home

News Photo by James Andersen Posen’s Eyan Hincka (40) scores while being defended by Onaway’s Nick Byrne during a boys basketball game on Monday at Posen High School.

POSEN–Through the ups-and-downs of the season, the Posen boys basketball team has never stopped playing hard.

On Monday, the Vikings were rewarded for their efforts.

Jared Sharpe scored 30 points, Eyan Hincka added 12 and Posen used a 38-0 start to defeat Onaway 82-37 at Posen High School.

Posen (5-10) led 34-0 after one quarter and 58-22 at halftime.

“I’m proud of them,” Posen coach Chris Keller said. “I’m immensely proud of them because I tell them all the time how good they are, I tell them all these things, but you need to be rewarded sometimes and I’m just proud of the way they played.”

The Vikings could do wrong in the first quarter, playing smart, patient basketball to make one incredible after another to blow by the Cardinals (6-9). On defense, Posen pressured the ball, forcing numerous turnovers and keeping Onaway on its heels.

“We had a really wrong practice yesterday,” Keller said. “We spent a lot of time working on pressuring the ball, forcing turnovers.”

On the offensive end, Posen drained two triples in the first 35 seconds and was off and running from there.

Sharpe threaded passes inside to teammates, drove the lane for baskets of his own and drained long three-pointers including one over a defender with five seconds left in the first quarter. Hincka found his way inside for buckets, Sam Brunet turned long outlet passes into easy layups and Dylan Schuch and Mark Wisniewski were spot on from outside.

In all, five different players combined for Posen’s 34 first quarter points and nine different players contributed points in the win.

“This is the best start I’ve ever seen in a team. It’s the best I’ve ever been a part of and I’ve played a lot of basketball,” Keller said.

Sharpe added nine assists and seven steals to go with his 30 points and Hincka came up just shy of a double-double adding nine rebounds in the win. Brunet also finished in double figures with 10 points.

For the Cardinals, the game quickly turned into one they’d like to forget. Onaway ran into a combination of poor play, foul trouble and just plain bad luck. Even with a sizable height advantage, the Cardinals struggled to finish at the basket and couldn’t settle into a groove. Onaway star forward Trevor Wregglesworth suffered a lower body injury in the opening quarter as well and the Cardinals were whistled for eight fouls in the first eight minutes.

“I could tell we were coming out we were flat, we were slow and that’s an absolute, just an embarrassing loss tonight. I gotta hand it to Posen. Posen played great tonight and was extremely hot and we couldn’t buy a bucket,” Onaway coach Eddy Szymoniak said. “It’s one of those games you play absolutely as bad as we played right there is about as bad as I’ve ever seen us play.”

Sharpe scored two quick baskets to open the second quarter and Posen upped its lead to 38-0 before Kevin Pearson scored Onaway’s first basket with 7:18 left in the half. Onaway showed a few signs of life on offense, but still went into the locker room trailing by 36 at halftime.

The huge halftime lead did nothing to change Keller’s game plan and he told his team to keep up its intensity.

“At halftime, I told them it was 0-0. I’m not dumb, Trevor Wregglesworth is a great basketball player. He’s a player that can change a game by himself,” Keller said. “I pretty much demanded the same intensity in the second half as I did in the beginning and I think they gave it.”

Posen didn’t have much to worry about in the third quarter as Onaway’s struggles continued. The Cardinals were hit with foul trouble again and by the midway point of the third quarter, Wregglesworth and Lucas Tollini had both fouled out.

Nick Byrne led Onaway with 10 points and Kevin Pearson had nine. Wregglesworth finished with six.

Posen will have little time to rest this week as it hosts Au Gres Tuesday and plays at Fairview on Friday.

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BOX SCORE: Field goals/Free throws made/Free throws attempted/Total Points

POSEN (82): D. Schuch 2 0-0 5; J. Sharpe 10 5-7 30; E. Hincka 5 2-3 12; M. Wisniewski 3 2-2 9; S. Brunet 5 0-0 10; J. Misiak 2 2-5 6; G. Kaszubowski 1 0-0 2; D. Hincka 1 0-0 2. C. Paull 3 0-0 6.

ONAWAY (37): N. Byrne 3 4-6 10; C. Neelis 3 0-0 6; T. Wregglesworth 2 2-4 6; K. Pearson 4 0-2 9; D. Clayton 2 0-2 4; L. Tollini 0 0-2 0; G. Fenstermaker 1 0-0 2.