(Prep Basketball) Soaring Eagles roll

HANNAHVILLE – Coach Seth Miller gave the Hannahville boys’ basketball team a simple message prior to Saturday morning’s Northern Lights League contest.

“I told them we needed to play good defense, have smart passing and rebound, and they responded,” he said.

The Soaring Eagles also reaped the benefits of following the game plan as they romped to a 51-17 triumph over the Mackinac Island Lakers.

A solid defensive performance also paid off for the Hannahville girls in a 41-37 victory over the Lakers.

“Our focus was on defense, which is a huge facet of the game,” said Hannahville girls’ coach Josh Eagle. “We just played with more intensity than we did last night (in Friday’s 49-29 loss).

That was evident in the fourth quarter when the Hannahville girls opened with a 9-0 run for a 39-29 advantage.

Hannahville’s cushion reached double digits once more when senior point guard Sophie Manitowabi sank a jump shot from the lane to make it 41-31 with 95 seconds left to play.

“We were trying to keep our starters fresh,” said Eagle. “We also wanted to give the younger kids a feel of what it’s like to play in that situation.”

Senior Selena Williams led the Soaring Eagles (4-1) with 13 points. Manitowabi and senior Mary Saldana added 10 apiece. Hannahville, which hosts Republic-Michigamme Tuesday, committed 27 turnovers

Senior Halee Tokarz scored 10 points for the Lakers (2-3), who had 26 miscues.

“Our shots weren’t falling and we didn’t box out,” said Lakers’ coach Mary Patay. “Things started to pick up when we started playing the game instead of complaining about it. I thought we had a little momentum going into the fourth quarter (with Hannahville clinging to a 30-29 lead). But we gave them a chance and you can’t do that.”

The Hannahville boys led 17-6 at halftime and 37-11 after the third stanza.

“One thing we were able to do was wear them down,” said Miller. “When you focus on defense, all five guys on the floor get to be involved.”

Sophomore guards Trace Sagataw and Cody Meshigaud paced the Soaring Eagles (3-1) with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Freshman Christian Styburski led the Lakers with seven.

Both teams finished with 26 turnovers.

The Hannahville boys are idle until Jan. 10-11 when they host Paradise.