It’s all in the finish

ONAWAY-As the old cliche goes, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

This adage served the Posen girls basketball team pretty well on Friday.

The Vikings overcame a slow start that saw them trailing after the first quarter to top Presque Isle County rival Rogers City 58-31 to win a Class D district title at Onaway High School.

The title win is Posen’s fourth straight and sends them to a regional semifinal in Gaylord on Tuesday where the Vikings will face Pellston.

“It feels great. We started this my freshman year and this has been one of goals every year. It feels so awesome to win four straight,” Posen senior guard Anna Couture said.

After struggling to find its offensive footing in the first quarter, Posen (22-0) took control of the game for good in the second quarter, outscoring the Hurons 19-0 in the period to take a 32-14 lead at halftime. Korynn Hincka, who led Posen with 26 points, netted 20 of those in the first half and 12 in the second quarter.

Rogers City got off to hot start, going toe-to-toe with the Vikings in the first quarter as Posen struggled to get in sync on both ends of the floor. Courtney Streich netted eight of her 10 points in the period and other players such as Rebecca Meredith showed their mettle against a formidable Posen frontcourt. The Hurons led 10-5 with 2:19 left in the period, before Hincka helped Posen take a brief lead. Rogers City led 14-13 at the end of the quarter, despite Hincka scoring with six seconds left.

The slow start prompted Posen coach Karl Momrik to rally his team in the huddle between quarters to start playing the way they’re used to playing.

“We told them we better start playing Posen Viking basketball because Rogers City got off to a great start,” Momrik said. “We didn’t have our A game tonight, but you can’t have your A game every night. We’re happy with the win, the Hurons deserve a lot of credit for what they did against Onaway. They played a tough game tonight.”

Once Posen got going, Rogers City simply couldn’t keep up. The Hurons did a decent job limiting Hincka’s shots in the first quarter, but as she has done with countless opponents, Hincka wore the Hurons down. Posen used its full-court press to force turnovers and swarmed the Hurons, causing them to rush a number of shots.

Posen kept the pedal down in the third quarter and helped its own cause with a decent night of shooting from the free-throw line. The Vikings were able to draw a lot of contact and finished the night 19-for-32 from the charity stripe compared to 4-of-9 for the Hurons.

Posen held a 46-19 lead after three quarters as Rogers City continued to get anything working on offense. Rogers City was was limited to just five points in the third quarter after going scoreless for the last five minutes of the period.

Bev Bednarski added 14 points for Posen.

Lea Peyer netted Posen’s only field goal of the fourth quarter, but the Vikings went 10-for-16 from the line to help its cause.

Momrik was pleased to see his team earn another district crown, pointing out that Couture and Hincka have now won four straight district titles with the Vikings. He added though that Posen would get right back to work on Monday to prepare for the next game.

“It’s hard to believe we’ve gotten four in a row with some of these kids. Korynn and Anna have now won four in a row with us, everybody worked hard this year and I’m really happy for all the kids,” Momrik said. “I think it actually is pretty good. You want to play a little bit the way we played, but going ahead it is good that we faced a little bit of adversity and had a little bit of yelling in the huddle and stuff and got back out there and started playing our kind of ball.”

POSEN (58): J. Hincka 1 2-4 4; K. Hincka 10 6-10 26; Bednarski 5 3-4 14; Lenard 1 1-2 3; Couture 1 5-6 7; Meyers 0 2-4 2; Bartz 0 0-2 0; Peyer 1 0-0 2.

ROGERS CITY (31): Streich 5 0-1 10; LaLonde 0 1-2 1; Fleming 2 1-2 7; Purgiel 1 0-0 2; Meredith 0 0-2 2; Hilla 2 0-0 4; B. Hincka 0 0-2 0; Idalski 1 0-0 2; Quaine 1 0-0 3.