Hillman boys drop season opener; Hurons improve to 2-0

HILLMAN — The defending North Star League champion Hillman Tigers opened their season on Monday and came up short in a hard-fought battle against Oscoda, losing by a final score of 53-47.

The Tigers fell behind early and faced a 19-4 deficit early in the game, but stormed back and cut the lead to five at the half.

Hillman battled all the way back to take a 41-39 lead early in the fourth quarter, but a the Tigers had no answer for the duo of Owen Franklin and Gabe Kellstrom who paced the Owls with a combined 44 points, scoring 23 and 31 respectively on the night.

After Hillman took its only lead of the night, Kellstrom buried a three to put the Owls back on top and Oscoda was able to hang on and defeat Hillman on their own court which has been a rare occurence over the past several years.

“I though defensively we played really well. We held a team that was averaging 69 points coming in to 53. Oscoda is a good team, they had a few games under their belt and hats off to them, they look like they’re going to be one of the better teams in the North Star League this year,” Hillman coach Eric Muszynski said. “I’m never happy with a loss, but I’m impressed with how we played in our first game of the year and credit to my guys.”

Hillman was led by seniors Kory Henigan and Nic Taratuta who each recorded a double-double as Henigan scored a team high 21 points and ripped down 12 rebounds, while Taratuta added 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Oscoda improves to 3-0 and will host Hale on Thursday.

Hillman will travel to Rogers City to play the undefeated Hurons on Thursday.

Rogers City 71,

Fairview 39

FAIRVIEW — The Rogers City boys basketball team earned its second win in as many games as the Hurons cruised past Fairview on Monday, beating the Eagles 71-39.

The Hurons opened up a big lead early and never looked back as they continued to build on their lead throughout the night.

“We did a good job in the first half with our defense and transition,” Rogers City coach Matt Ponik said. “We have a few things to work on, but I am very proud of me team tonight.”

Rogers City had three different players score in double figures as the Hurons were led by Nick Freel who had a game high 16 points. Ethan Hincka added 13 points and J.D. Ellenberger chipped in with 12 points in the win.

Rogers City improves to 2-0 and will face its first big test of the young season when they play host to the defending North Star League champions, Hillman on Thursday.

Atlanta 52, Wolverine 32

WOLVERINE–Trenton Whitt scored 12 points, Aaron Cuzzort added 11 and the Atlanta boys basketball team got off to a fast start on Monday en route to defeating Wolverine for a season-opening 52-32 win.

“The biggest thing for us was we came out strong and pushed the ball up the floor and ran well,” Atlanta coach Kevin Haren said. “I think we surprised them with how well we were running.”

Atlanta hosts Boyne Falls on Wednesday.

Mio 41, Hale 34

MIO–Drew Hess scored 20 points and the Mio boys basketball team defeated Hale 41-34 on Monday.

Joseph Kimmerer led Hale with 14 points.

Mio is 2-0 on the season and hosts Au Gres on Thursday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Wolverine 55,

Atlanta 22

ATLANTA — The Atlanta girls basketball team fell to Wolverine on Monday night by a final score of 55-22.

The Huskies were unable to get things going in their season opener and missed some easy shots throughout the game.

“We started the game out rough and fell behind early,” Atlanta coach Jeremy Kobielus said. “I hope it was just the first game jitters. We did some things well, but we have some things to clean up.”

Atlanta will be back in action Wednesday when the Huskies host Boyne Falls.