The Onaway High School varsity boys’ basketball team dropped its first game of the season Tuesday at Mancelona, falling to a talented Ironman squad that figures to be one of the best in the Ski Valley Conference, 64-53.
The loss dropped the Cardinals’ record to 5-1 (4-1) SVC. Onaway jumped out to an early lead, saw that slip away, fell behind big, then almost came all the way back.
“The final score is no indication of how close this game was,” said OHS coach Eddy Szymoniak. “We feel like we can beat them. We just dig ourselves too big a hole, and missed too many easy baskets.”
The Cardinals jumped out to a 9-2 lead, but Mancy finished the first period on a 16-2 run and led 18-11 after one. The Ironmen stretched that to 35-24 by the half, and led by as many as 19 in the third quarter.
Onaway cut the gap to five, 47-42, by the end of the third, and to four early in the fourth period, but could not complete the comeback, “running out of gas and out of time,” according to Szymoniak.
Joe O’Bradovich paced the Cardinals offensively with 16 points. Andrew Prow scored nine points and Chris Cleaver finished with eight. Brandon Dingman scored 32 points for the home team.
Earlier in the evening, the OHS junior varsity improved to 5-1 with a 53-36 win over Mancelona.
Onaway led 12-8 after one period, 29-14 at the half, and 35-25 through three quarters. Cody Morell scored 20 points, while Joe Sigsby had 15.
Last Thursday, the varsity defeated visiting Inland Lakes, 58-48. Onaway trailed 14-13 after one period, tied things at 21 by halftime, and took a 36-34 lead after three stanzas. O’Bradovich scored 20 points, while Prow had 12.
The JV also won its game with the Bulldogs, 55-45.
The Cards trailed 13-6 after one period, 24-21 at the half, and 37-33 through three quarters. Morell scored 21 points in the win.
The boys’ basketball teams are scheduled to travel to Pellston tonight (Friday) and to Forest Area on Tuesday, before hosting Ski Valley power Bellaire on Thursday.