Hoops Roundup: Onaway boys edge Mancelona in Ski Valley finale, 75-74
ONAWAY – In their final game of the Ski Valley Conference boys basketball season, the Onaway Cardinals really had to grind one out.
In the end, they did just enough to hold on.
More importantly, they kept themselves alive for a conference crown with the triumph.
Sparked by a career-high 32 points from senior guard Austin Veal, the Cardinals captured a hard-fought 75-74 victory over Mancelona in their Ski Valley finale on Monday.
“We’re still not playing as good as I’d like to see us play, but these guys battled really hard, they moved the ball well, and they hung tough,” said Onaway coach Eddy Szymoniak. “I thought it was a pretty well-balanced game. As a team, we did a nice job. We buckled down until the last second.
“We finished off our conference season with a win, but we’re down quite a few guys right now.”
While the Cardinals (17-3, 14-2 Ski Valley) prevailed on Monday, they had an unfortunate setback when junior forward Justin Kramer-St. Germain suffered a back injury and had to leave the game with about six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
“He’s a strong kid, but when you heard him screaming, you knew it was bad,” Szymoniak said of Kramer-St. Germain. “It’s just unfortunate because he’s really stepped up for us this season.”
Despite holding a lead after each of the first three quarters, the Cardinals trailed by three with about 20 seconds to go. However, they turned it around just in time and captured another important conference win.
Jadin Mix finished with 16 points for the Cardinals, while Mason Beebe scored eight, Jackson Chaskey had seven, and Cole Selke and Kramer-St. Germain each tallied six.
“Jadin (Mix) did a nice job with the rebounds tonight, he was probably our leading rebounder,” Szymoniak said. “Austin (Veal) did what he does and these guys really stepped up.”
After hosting Rogers City on Tuesday, the Cardinals close out their regular season with a home clash against Mackinaw City on Thursday.
As for the Ski Valley race, the Cardinals assured themselves of at least a second-place finish following their win over Mancelona. The Cardinals will need an Inland Lakes (13-5, 15-2) victory over Gaylord St. Mary (17-3, 13-1) on Tuesday night to capture a share of the title.
Alanson girls top Boyne Falls, will face Inland Lakes in district semifinals
HARBOR SPRINGS – It was a strong start to the postseason for the Alanson girls basketball team, which earned a 34-22 victory over Boyne Falls in a MHSAA Division 4 district first-round matchup at Harbor Light on Monday.
“Boyne Falls is a scrappy, aggressive team so we knew we had to get out there and start strong and then keep the energy high the whole time,” said Alanson coach Nikki Leech. “We got into some foul trouble but was able to keep the edge for the whole game.”
Gretchyn Bowman’s double-double performance of 10 points and 10 rebounds lifted the Vikings (8-11), who received 10 points and five boards from Allison Peters.
After earning a first district win since the 2016-17 campaign, Alanson advances to face Inland Lakes (17-5) in a district semifinal at Harbor Light on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.