Portagers stay unbeaten with win over Sabers

ONEKAMA — Maybe it was the 14 day layoff between games or perhaps it was the cold weather. Either way, the Onekama boys basketball team got off to a really slow start Friday night.

Then the Class D No. 8 Portagers started clicking on all cylinders, scoring 15 straight points to end the first quarter and cruised to a 56-26 West Michigan D League home win over the Manistee Catholic Central Sabers.

“We started out the first three minutes like we should have, but we have a habit of letting things get away from us. That’s what it comes down to,” Sabers coach Phil Kroll said.

The Sabers (3-11, 1-11 WMD) did appear to have it going in the first few minutes on a Chad Robke, nine points, layup and a Jordan Kuenzer, team-high 11 points, 3-pointer. The defense was forcing tough looks and the Portagers (14-0, 12-0 WMD) looked unglued.

Onekama’s Jordan Coe goes in for a layup on Friday during the Portagers’ victory over Manistee Catholic Central. (Jared Buchholz/News Advocate)

Onekama’s Jordan Coe goes in for a layup on Friday during the Portagers’ victory over Manistee Catholic Central. (Jared Buchholz/News Advocate)

“Going into it I didn’t know what to expect. We haven’t had a game in two weeks and with all the snow days and some days we didn’t have practice,” said Portagers coach Nathan Bradford. “All in all I knew we would be a little rusty.”

A full-court press was the answer and the Portagers, behind four first-half steals by leading scorer Jarett Sovereign, who scored 14, pressured the Sabers into mistake after mistake and rolled to a 15-5 first-quarter lead.

“I can’t complain. It took us a little bit to get going, but once we started clicking I think we got into a little rhythm and got going after that,” Bradford said.

Onekama had five players with more than seven points. Jordan Coe scored 11 with four steals, Caleb Wisniski added 10 with nine rebounds and four blocks, Jon Eno added nine with five rebounds and Ethan Hunt scored seven with three rebounds.

Only two players scored more than three for the Sabers.

“The biggest thing is I need somebody to step it up. I need a couple guys to step it up. We are not getting it right now,” Kroll said.

The Onekama junior varsity team, behind 22 points from Jacob Mauntler, skated to a 54-35 win over the Sabers. Nick Bialik and Austin VanAelst each scored 11 for the Sabers.

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