Onekama can’t keep up with Kingsley

Onekama’s Ella Acton dribbles away from traffic during the Portagers’ loss to Kingsley on Tuesday night. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

ONEKAMA — Onekama girls basketball hosted the cream of the Northwest Conference crop with NWC-leading Kingsley coming to town Tuesday. The Portagers fell behind early and could not recover, losing 56-12.

The Stags (6-1, 4-0 NWC) jumped out to a 10-0 lead before Sophie Wisniski put the Portagers (2-4, 1-3 NWC) on the board with a pair of free throws. After a Kingsley 3-pointer, Ella Acton also sank a pair of free throws for Onekama. The Portagers trailed 15-4 after the first quarter.

“The girls shot 36 times,” said Onekama head coach Tracy Bennett. “And I thought they were good shots, but we have to be more of an offensive threat. The ball wasn’t going in for sure. We had a lot of good looks, and good shots, but we just talked about in the locker room, that they have to come in and work really hard on their shot.

“I wish more of them would have went in, but they didn’t,” she continued. “I don’t think any shots taken were bad shots. We just have to, offensively, be a bigger threat.”

Kingsley scored the first nine points of the second quarter before Wisniski scored inside while drawing a foul. She missed the subsequent free throw and Onekama was down 24-6 with 4:27 in the half.

“(Kingsley’s) shots were going in,” Bennett said. “I mean, there’s not much we can do about that. They have some nice shooters. Their shots were definitely falling.”

The game could be considered a David-versus-Goliath matchup, with Division 4 Onekama battling Kingsley — a Division 2 school.

The Stags hit another 3-pointer before Hanna Hughes scored inside for Onekama, making the score 27-8. Kingsley scored the next seven points and ended the first half enjoying a 34-8 advantage.

“I guess the key was just getting back in the swing of things,” said Kingsley head coach Matt Schelich. “Our defense was solid, as usual, but I thought we were a day late and a dollar short everywhere else tonight.

“Molly (Caminata) gave us a great spark off the bench with 10 points and a lot of scrap plays.”

Onekama entered the contest on a two-game winning streak, with victories over Suttons Bay and Manistee Catholic Central.

The Stags scored the first 10 points of the third quarter before Onekama’s Kaylin Sam hit a 15-foot jumper to make the score 44-10 with 31 seconds on the clock.

“I thought my girls handled the press really well,” Bennett said. “I thought they took care better than I’ve seen them take care of the ball yet, so I can’t say (Kingsley’s) press scared us — I think the girls handled it. They pressed us the entire game and our girls handled it very well the entire game.”

Kingsley scored seven unanswered points before Portager Sydnee Hrachovina scored inside, leaving the Stags up 51-12 with 6:38 remaining in the contest. Kingsley made a layup before hitting a deep ball to end the scoring.

“We did a 1-2-2 zone and I think the girls did really well,” Bennett said. “They’re talking more and I think they did really well. They covered the inside and then when (Kingsley) went out — like I said — they made some nice shots from the outside.”

Wisniski led the Portagers in scoring with four points while Sam, Acton, Hughes and Hrachovina each had two. Maggie Domres grabbed a team-high nine rebounds while Sam and Acton each finished with six.

The Portagers next see action Thursday with a game at Leland. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

In the JV game, Onekama fell 61-22.

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