The Onaway High School varsity boys’ basketball team matched its win total from a year ago in its first game of the season Tuesday, knocking off a solid visiting Atlanta squad, 50-46.
To win the contest, the Cardinals had to overcome a six-point deficit with just 2:30 remaining, as well as a big 23-point night from Huskie senior guard Garrett Badgero.
Things were tight throughout, as the game featured 13 lead changes and seven ties.
Onaway’s biggest lead was five points, while Atlanta’s biggest lead was six. The teams were within two points of each other for most of the game.
Andrew Prow, who connected on three trifectas – two of them in the game’s final moments – scored 11 points for OHS, as did Andrew Perry. Joe O’Bradovich scored eight points for the Cards, while Rich Hoff had seven off the bench.
Atlanta led 11-9 after one period, but Onaway led 21-19 at the half. A Perry trey to open the third period gave the Cardinals their largest lead, at 24-19, and the Red Birds led 33-32 going into period four.
Atlanta opened the fourth on an 11-4 run to take its largest lead, 43-37, with just 150 ticks remaining. With defeat looming, however, the Cards took over and showed that they could be a force to be reckoned with this season.
O’Bradovich scored on a feed from Rasheed Porter to cut the lead to four. After a Huskie miss, Prow swished a three to cut the deficit to one with 2:05 remaining.
The Cardinals then forced a turnover, and O’Bradovich scored following an offensive board to give his team a 44-43 lead with 1:45 left. After another Huskie miss, Prow again swished a three to stretch the lead to four.
Badgero narrowed the gap to one, 47-46, by hitting a three of his own with 35 seconds left. Atlanta immediately fouled Perry, who made both ends of a pressure one-and-one to stretch the lead back to three.
After the Huskies missed a potential tying three-point shot, Jason Sigsby put the game on ice by hitting the front end of a one-and-one, bringing about the final score.
Onaway missed the first nine foul shots it took in the game, but Perry and Sigsby made three of the four pressure-packed foul shots down the stretch, helping their team win a game it very likely would have lost a year ago.
Earlier in the evening, the OHS JV showed its tremendous promise with a 62-34 victory over Atlanta. Onaway led 16-6 after one quarter, 29-15 at the half, and 51-27 through three frames.
Raymond Self scored 17 points to lead the way. Cody Morell had nine points, with Joe Sigsby, Brad Boser, and Patrick Dunn scoring eight points apiece. Joey Gross scored 15 points for the Huskies.
The Cardinal boys are next in action Thursday at Gaylord St. Mary and will next play at home December 18 against Central Lake.