HILLMAN – The Oscoda boys basketball team put the finishing touches on the regular season Thursday night, claiming a 62-50 win at Hillman in a North Star League crossover match-up.
“It looked like we shot the three ball pretty well, we made 10 threes and that as probably the difference in the game,” head coach Mike Poland, who had to miss the game with an illness said. “We’re happy to jump into the post-season.”
Oscoda took a 21-12 lead after the first quarter and buried a few early shots in the second to hold a 31-13 lead. The Owls played to a 41-19 lead by the half and had a 52-33 lead with just the fourth left to play. Assistant coach Kirk Franklin took over coaching duties for the night in Poland’s absence.
Leading the way in the win was Owen Franklin with 24 points, Gabe Kellstrom put in 12, Brayden Mallak scored 11, Gavin Lueck scored six and with two apiece was Caleb Nagel, Itusto Mantani and Austin Schlink.
On Monday, March 2 the Owls picked up a non-league road win at Pinconning, 67-38.
Mallak led the way in this one with 18 points, Franklin was able to pour in 17, Lueck netted nine, Kellstrom scored eight, Nagel and Michael Gepfrey had seven apiece and Mantani chipped in with one. Poland also noted the defensive play of Devin Thomas.
“We came out and played really well,” Poland said. “They played us tough in the first quarter but it was over after that. Our defensive pressure was pretty good, we forced them into 18 turnovers. Coming off the loss the boys had a lot of motivation to get right at it.”
Oscoda (19-1 overall) plays in a division three district at Johannesburg-Lewiston this week. The Owls opened the post-season on Monday, with the winner of that game playing tonight (Wednesday) against host Joburg. Alcona, Whittemore-Prescott and Rogers City are also in the district, with the finals taking place Friday. The district winners plays in a regional semi-final game on Monday at Cheboygan.
“We are just focused on us playing well, I think we have proven to ourselves that if we come out and play well everything will take care of itself,” Poland said. “We really, with the exception of one quarter in Ogemaw Heights we have played really well late in the year. We finished up well and just every day trying to get better.”