News Sports Editor
ROGERS CITY-It took a total team effort from the Posen boys basketball team to win its season opener on Tuesday, but when the final buzzer sounded, the Vikings had a season-opening win over a heated rival.
Posen (1-0) began the game with a 10-0 run and never looked back, going on to defeat Rogers City 50-32 in the season-opener for both teams at Rogers City High School.
Lucas Litwinski scored 13 points for the Vikings and Nick Hincka and Travis Sharpe each added 12.
"We had excellent energy here tonight. It took the entire team to get this 'W.' I thought Brandon (Dietz) and Nick Hincka did an excellent job here tonight," Posen coach Steve Hentkowski said. "I felt Lucas did a nice job of attacking the rim, especially in the second half."
Posen started the game with a 10-0 lead and let 13-2 after the first quarter after the Hurons (0-1) struggled to get open shots against a stifling Posen defense. Posen opened the second quarter on a 12-0 run to build up a 25-7 lead before Brandon Darling scored for Rogers City, ending a Hurons' scoring drought that lasted over eight minutes.
"We're raw. Two of our five starters have never played ball before and it shows on the court. We came back and cut it to 10," Rogers City coach Jesse Streich said. "The first five minutes of the game we got down 10-0 and we never recovered. Missed a lot of easy shots and we've got some guys that have some learning to do."
Chris Lopez led the Hurons with nine points and Darling added six.
Down 29-14 at the half, Rogers City outscored Posen in the third quarter 8-5 and eventually cut the Vikings' lead to 10 twice in the final period; the second time came with 4:39 left in the game when Darling hit one of two free throws to pull Rogers City to within 10, 37-27.
From there, the Vikings took over, outscoring the Hurons 13-5 the rest of the way.
Despite a slow start to the game, the Hurons came back and might have challenged for the lead late in the game, but Rogers City was plagued by many turnovers which Posen took advantage of. Posen's pressure didn't allow Rogers City many open looks and the Hurons weren't always able to capitalize on the open shots they did have.
"The defensive effort was excellent tonight, especially the first half," Hentkowski said.
Posen struggled in the third scoring, making just two shots, but Hentkowski is confident his players will find their shooting touch as the season goes on.
"Our shooting was off, but I think as the season progresses, everyone's going to find their rhythm on their shot, that should correct itself," Hentkowski said.
Rogers City's JV team defeated Posen 37-20. Alex Darga led the Hurons with 16 points and Josh Belusar added nine points. Matthew Wisniewski led Posen with 12 points.
POSEN (50): Beland 0 1-2 1; Sharpe 5 1-3 12; Litwinski 6 0-3 13; Hincka 5 1-2 12; Beach 0 3-4 3; Dietz 1 3-9 5; Kwiecien 2 0-0 4.
ROGERS CITY (32): Belusar 1 1-4 3; Wilbert 1 2-2 5; Hazel 2 0-0 4; Darling 2 2-5 6; Hincka 1 1-2 3; Lopez 4 1-3 9; Ciarkowski 1 0-1 2.