Portagers destroy winless MCE, advance to district finals

Onekama’s Jeremiah Torrey (10) drives to the basket past Kyle Lee (30) of Mason County Eastern in the Portagers’ 78-25 win the their Class D district semifinal game Wednesday. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

Onekama’s Jeremiah Torrey (10) drives to the basket past Kyle Lee (30) of Mason County Eastern in the Portagers’ 78-25 win the their Class D district semifinal game Wednesday. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

ONEKAMA — Onekama eased into its Class D boys basketball district championship game after thrashing winless Mason County Eastern 78-25 in their district semifinal Wednesday night.

Ten different players scored for the Portagers (15-6) in the game, which was never in doubt. Onekama scored the game’s first 24 points in the first 4:17 of the contest, and rested its starters for the entire second and fourth quarters.

Onekama head coach Nathan Bradford said that he wanted to leave nothing to chance against the overmatched Cardinals (0-20).

“I knew their record, but in tournaments you throw the records out,” Bradford said. “I told the kids to go out and play hard, and we came out and jumped on them early.”

Jacob Manutler led the way with 17 points for Onekama in just two quarters of play, including a crowd-pleasing slam dunk on a fast break in the third quarter.

“It was a lot of fun,” Mauntler said. “We just went out and took care of the ball, played good defense and the offense came through.”

Eight different Portagers hit 3-pointers in the game, beginning with Taylor Bennett 12 seconds into the game and Jeremiah Torrey 33 seconds later to start the initial 24-0 run.

With the score 31-6 at the end of the first quarter, Bradford decided to rest all five starters in the second, and the second unit performed well, outscoring MCE-s starters 11-10 in the quarter to give Onekama a 42-16 lead at the break.

“We got a lot of JV kids in tonight, and I was pleased with everybody’s effort,” Bradford said. “They came out and they executed. A lot of kids got to score, some even got close to double figures.”

Mauntler’s jam to open the second half 27 seconds in was the start of an 11-0 run, and Ben Acton’s drive to the basket started the running clock with 1:55 left in the third quarter.

Torrey and Acton each finished with 11 points and Bennett added eight, again in just two quarters of play.

Ben Johnson led the second unit with seven points and Luke Mauntler had six for the Portagers.

Torrey, both Mauntlers, Bennett, Rylan Clarke, Justin Zielinski, Wade Sedlar and Nick Falk all scored from beyond the 3-point arc in the game.

Daniel Knizacky led MCE with 13 points, and Tim Atwood added 8 for the Cardinals, who had just four players on the scoresheet.

With the win, Onekama advances to the district championship game against Pentwater, who defeated Walkerville XX-XX in the other semifinal. The district final will tip off on Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m.

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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