Western Michigan Christian boys put Friday’s loss behind with a 53-39 win over North Muskegon, Grand Haven wins

By Justin Haggerty
Local Sports Journal

NORTH MUSKEGON – The Western Michigan Christian boys basketball team suffered its first defeat last Friday, and the 25-point loss obviously didn’t sit very well with the Warriors.

They came out with a bang Tuesday at North Muskegon, grabbing an early 14-point lead en route to a 53-39 victory over the Norse in a Christmas break non-conference game.

WMC's Jacob Ray goes for a layup. Photo/Ron Rop

WMC’s Jacob Ray goes for a layup against North Muskegon. Photo/Ron Rop.

“We’re a hard-working team,” said WMC Coach Kyle Mastenbrook, whose team improved to 4-1 on the season. “We continue to work hard.

“This was a big game for us, and it’s a fun rivalry for those guys who play football,” added Mastenbrook, referrring to co-op arrangement that allows WMC students to play varsity football at North Muskegon.

The Warriors were hot from the floor in the first quarter, hitting 8 of 13 shots and leading 18-4 at the buzzer. Junior Ryan Butkis led the early attack, scoring all seven of his points in the quarter.

The Norse, who dropped to 1-3, kept fighting and made it a game after their rough start.

North Muskegon Coach Chuck Rypstra switched from a man-to-man to zone defense in the second quarter, limiting the Warriors to a mere two points and cutting their lead to four, 20-16, at halftime.

“We’re such a better team than 18-4,” Rypstra said about the first quarter. “We switched to zone and it just slowed them down a little bit.

“I knew they were going to be pretty good. He (Mastenbrook) runs a pretty good program, they know what they’re doing, they know where they’re supposed to be,”

WMC regained its composure in the second half, outscoring the Norse 16-13 in the third quarter and 17-10 in the fourth to seal the victory.

North Muskegon's Ben Gautraud battles for a rebound with Devin Eekhoff. Photo/Ron Rop

North Muskegon’s Ben Gautraud battles for a rebound with Devin Eekhoff. Photo/Ron Rop

The Warriors hit four of eight 3-pointers in the second half. Matt Dugener hit three triples after halftime for WMC and scored 12 of his game-high 14 points.

WMC put the game away by hitting 10 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter. Logan Waller and Jacob Ray led the way from the charity stripe by making four shots apiece on the night.

Mitch Edick led North Muskegon with eight points.

Grand Haven 64, Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills 58: The Bucs used a 9-0 third quarter run to top Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills on Tuesday. Adam Abraham led the way during the run with four points at the free throw line and a pair of assists.

More photos from action between WMC and the Norse:

WMC's Kyle Kingma gets Marco Visconti off his feet under the bucket. Photo/Ron Rop

WMC’s Kyle Kingma gets Marco Visconti off his feet under the bucket. Photo/Ron Rop

WMC's Jacob Ray goes up for a 3-pointer against the defensive pressure of North Muskegon's Riley Fairfield. Photo/Ron Rop

WMC’s Jacob Ray goes up for a 3-pointer against the defensive pressure of North Muskegon’s Riley Fairfield. Photo/Ron Rop

North Muskegon's Marco Visconti blocks a shot by WMC's Logan Waller. Photo/Ron Rop

North Muskegon’s Marco Visconti blocks a shot by WMC’s Logan Waller. Photo/Ron Rop

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