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A winning start

Vikings open season with victory at Onaway

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Onaway’s Jordan Larson (11) takes a shot during the third quarter of a girls basketball game on Wednesday in Onaway.

ONAWAY — The first basketball game of the season can tend to be interesting in terms of executing, limiting mistakes and playing good as a team.

For the Posen girls basketball team, the first game of the year looked like it could be a sign of big things to come as the Vikings opened the 2019-20 season with a convincing road victory, defeating the Onaway Cardinals by a final score of 42-26.

“To go on the road in a tough place like Onaway and with a lot of youth on our team and a couple of post players out, it was a nice win,” Posen coach Karl Momrik said. “We’re not satisfied and we have work to do, but we’re happy to come out with the win, it’s always great to go on the road and come out with a win in the first game.”

Posen was missing two key starters, but got a pleasant surprise from senior Elena Kalbitzer, who is a foreign exchange student. She made an immediate impact in her first game as a Viking, scoring a game high 15 points and was all over the floor, wreaking havoc defensively and causing problems for Onaway due to her quickness and length.

The senior duo of Kalbitzer and Riley Krajniak led the way for the Vikings as they combined to score 28 points. Krajniak added 13 and shot the ball well and attacked the basket all night.

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Posen’s Riley Krajniak (20) drives to the basket for a layup while being defended by Onaway’s Malaisha Van (24) during the second quarter of a girls basketball game on Wednesday at Onaway High School.

“She (Elena) brings great intensity to the game. She really can get up and down the floor. She is a big addition for us and is going to make us an even tougher team,” Momrik said. “Riley is our floor leader. We can depend on her for a lot of our offense, getting the ball to the right people because we have a lot of players who can score.”

Posen looked strong right from the opening tip and wasted little time getting Kalbitzer involved. She scored the first three points of the game and five of the first seven for Posen, including seven in the opening quarter to help Posen jump out to a 13-3 lead.

The Vikings clamped down defensively, did a great job rebounding and it all led to success in the early stages of the game.

“We can be a good defensive team. We have good quickness and we’re going to rely on that throughout the season,” Momrik said. “We just need to continue to improve and get ready for our next challenge.”

Posen continued its strong play in the second quarter and held a 25-15 lead despite the Cardinals scoring six of the first eight points of the quarter to cut the lead to six. It was as close as the home team could get the rest of the night as the Cardinals failed to get shots to fall and were unable to take care of the basketball, struggling to break Posen’s press at times.

Krajniak took over in the third quarter as she scored nine points in the third to help the Vikings blow the game wide open as Posen grabbed a 38-18 lead heading into the fourth quarter and the Vikings were able to cruise to a lopsided opening night win.

Makayla Kamyszek added eight points, going a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line in the Vikings win.

Onaway was paced by Malaisha Van who attacked the glass and scored 10 points to lead the Cardinals and Nicole Larson finished with eight points in the losing effort.

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

POSEN (42): E. Kalbitzer, 7 1-8 15; R. Krajniak, 6 0-2 13; E. Szatkowski, 1 0-0 2; E. Romel, 1 0-5 2; M. Kamyszek, 1 6-6 8; A. Schellie, 1 0-0 2.

ONAWAY (26): M. Van, 4 2-2 10; M. McLean, 1 0-4 2; T. Larson, 0 2-4 2; N. Larson, 3 2-6 8; B. Domke, 2 0-2 4.