PAINESDALE - There weren't too many people in the Jeffers High Gym Monday night who would have given the Dollar Bay Bays much of a chance late in an opening round Class D district game against Ontonagon.
The Gladiators were up by six points with 1:42 remaining, and had possession of the basketball at that point. But DBHS scored the final six points of regulation to send the game into overtime at 45-all.
Dollar Bay then outscored the Gladiators by a 7-5 margin in the extra period for a thrilling 52-50 win.
Dollar Bay's Tom Autio goes high to grab a rebound against Ontonagon in district tourney play Monday night. The Bays notched a 52-50 overtime win over the Gladiators. (Paul Peterson photo)
Senior center Carl Kangas nailed a short shot from the lane with 5.7 seconds left for the winning points.
"I thought it was fitting that Carl (Kangas) would score the game-winner," a happy DB coach Jesse Kentala said afterward. "He really played hard all night ... he deserved that moment."
Ontonagon senior Tony Soumis seemed destined for the hero's mantle, coming back from an early season leg injury to play in his first game since. His play was a key part for his team's late lead.
Ontonagon 9 11 13 15 5 - 50
Dollar Bay 10 12 9 16 7 - 52
Ontonagon - Tony Soumis 13, Kyle Karttunen 8, Mitch Borseth 11, Taylor Beaudry 8, Alex Ashley 10. FT: 12-24; Rebounds: 28 (Borseth 11); Fouls: 15; Fouled out: None; 3-point field goals: Soumis 2, Borseth 2, Beaudry 1.
Dollar Bay - Tom Autio 6, Cameron Ringler 9, Justin Rogan 10, Carl Kangas 12, Damon Boyd 6, Nate Tervo 2, Steven Joyal 7. FT: 8-13; Rebounds: 32 (Kangas 13); Fouls: 22; Fouled out: Joyal; 3-point field goals: Boyd 1, Joyal 1.
"Having Tony (Soumis) back in the lineup was a big boost for us," OAHS coach Tim Nelson commented. "And it looked like we were going to advance. But we got in too big of a hurry ... with a lead late ... and it cost us a win."
The Bays, who won just one game this season, led after two quarters at 22-20.
But five points by Mitch Borseth lifted the Glads into a 30-29 margin after three quarters, and the work of Soumis in the final period had them winging toward the semifinals in the final frame.
Three free throws by Alex Ashley and a triple by Soumis from the corner had Ontonagon up 45-39.
Then came the final rally by the Red, Blue and White, one capped by a basket by Steven Joyal with 6.2 ticks left to deadlock the contest.
Kangas notched totals of 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead the 2-17 Bays. Justin Rogan added 10 points in a steady game, while Cameron Ringler contributed nine points and nine boards.
"We had a lot of good performances from a lot of people tonight," Kentala said. "It feels good after the season we went through."
Ontonagon closes with a 4-16 mark and was paced by Soumis with 13 points. Mitch Borseth had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Ashley netted 10 more points.
"We're a young team and I hope the kids learned something from this game," Nelson noted.
The Bays will meet Jeffers at 6 p.m. Wednesday in a semifinal.