Boys hoops teams begin district play tonight

After a banner year last season, the Oscoda boys basketball team has been chomping at the bit for a chance at another postseason run.

The Owls’ quest begins tonight as district play begins for boys basketball teams across Michigan.

Oscoda (19-1), who has run by most of its opponents this season with ease, will begin defense of its Division 3 district title tonight at Johannesburg-Lewiston against Roscommon.

With a majority of players returning from a team that went 24-1 and advanced to a regional final, the Owls haven’t had many missteps this season. The Owls have plenty of scorers to beat opponents from anywhere on the floor, including junior Owen Franklin who leads the area in scoring with 22.5 points per game.

The district also includes Rogers City and Alcona (9-11) who play the second of two quarterfinals tonight. Rogers City (13-7) is in the midst of one of its best seasons in several years and is searching for its first district title since 2012. The same goes for Alcona, who’s had an up-and-down season but is looking for a district championship for the first time since 2013. Rogers City is 2-0 in head-to-head matchups with Alcona this season.

In Onaway, five teams will battle it out in a district that could be anyone’s for the taking.

The host Cardinals (4-16) don’t have many wins to show for their efforts this season, but have played a tough slate of Ski Valley Conference games and are arguably better than their record suggests. With a fresh start in the postseason and plenty of capable scorers, the Cardinals could run the gauntlet and earn their first district title since 2016.

The Cardinals kick off district play tonight against Wolverine (12-8) at 6 p.m. The Wildcats have won 9 of their last 10 games and could use that momentum to its advantage to advance to Wednesday’s semifinal.

Hillman (5-14) finds itself in a similar position to Onaway, but has played well over the last few weeks. The Tigers are just two years removed from their last district title.

With a 16-4 record, Posen seems to be the prohibitive favorite and is aiming to win a second consecutive district championship. The Vikings have played all but one team in this district already and beaten them all. Posen has a deep team that thrives on playing defense first, but has several players capable of reaching double figures in scoring on any given night.

Monday’s district opener will be a familiar one for Alpena.

The Wildcats will play at Traverse City Central in a Division 1 district quarterfinal, just four days after they made the journey to Central to close out the regular season.

Alpena is hoping the third time is the charm after dropping 54-57 and 63-49 decisions to the Trojans. The Wildcats played well in both games, but couldn’t find an extra gear in crunch time. Alpena is looking to win a postseason game for the first time since 2015.

Hale will be looking for redemption on its home court in the district tournament.

The Eagles came up just short in last year’s district final, losing 51-49 to Mio. With a dominant player in Joe Kimmerer, the Eagles are hoping to win their first district since 2017 and add to their resume in an already impressive season.

Hale has been ranked in Division 4 for most of the year and earned a share of the North Star League’s Little Dipper division title.


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