By Ron Rop
Local Sports Journal
Dre Black broke the Muskegon Big Reds’ heart on Thursday night in the nightcap of the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Basketball Classic.
Black canned a 3-pointer with 4 seconds remaining and gave Westland John Glenn a 54-53 victory over the Big Reds in a game played at Reeths-Puffer High School.
“Those types of things happen in a game,” Westland John Glenn coach Dan Young said. “We had him out there because he can shoot.”
And shoot he did by canning that long shot from the top of the key in the game’s final seconds.
“He’s a real heady player and he was open,” Young said. “That’s what he’s supposed to do. I’m glad he took it, he’s a good shooter.
“They were locking up our other guys,” Young said. “It was good for him and great for us.”
Black finished with 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers.
Muskegon had a 52-49 lead with 1:52 remaining after D’Vonte Dockery scored on an offensive rebound.
John Glenn came back and scored on a layup by Richard Roberts with 1:10 remaining to make it 52-51. After Muskegon missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw with 18 seconds left, it appeared John Glenn would look to its Division 1 commitment, Nick Daniels, for a game-winning shot.
But on a spin move in the lane, Daniels, who is heading to Oakland University, was called for traveling and Muskegon regained possession of the ball.
William Roberson made one of two free throws with 14 seconds left to give Muskegon a 53-51 lead. After the missed free throw, Black dribbled down, looked to his right, dribbled back to the top of the key and canned the 3-pointer.
“We did everything we’re supposed to except close the game,” Muskegon coach Keith Guy said. “We had a couple stretches there with bad possessions. We missed a couple free throws and just didn’t close it.”
Muskegon led 24-21 at the half, thanks to Deshaun Thrower, who scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the opening half.
The teams exchanged buckets in the third quarter, including four 3-pointers by John Glenn, which led 38-36 with eight minutes to go.
Several times in the final quarter, Muskegon had three-point leads, but John Glenn was able to stay within striking distance until the final shot by Black.
“I’m happy with the effort,” Guy said. “We’re getting better and we have to shake it off. We have to play again in less than 24 hours.”
Besides Thrower’s 23 points, the Big Reds received 12 points from Dockery. He was the only other Muskegon player in double figures.
“I would hopefully like to get a balance soon and that’s what we’re looking for,” Guy said. “We need to have a couple more guys in double figures and that makes us tougher to defend.”
Deyonta Davis added eight rebounds and Dockery had six rebounds and four assists.
“We’re going to have to let this sting for a few minutes,” Guy said. “We can let one loss turn into two. We have to come out and play.”
On Friday night, the Big Reds take on East Kentwood, a 52-48 winner over Grand Rapids Christian in Thursday’s opener. Grand Haven will face Westland John Glenn in the 6 p.m. game on Friday.
“Muskegon is very good, obviously, very good,” Young said. “Keith Guy does a very good job and that’s why we wanted to come here and play a really good team, a state tournament-type game in December.”
Westland John Glenn 54, Muskegon 53
WESTLAND JOHN GLENN
Richard Roberts 2 4-4 8, Nick Daniels 2 1-2 6, James Pruitt 6 0-0 12, Isaac Everette 5 0-0 13, Aaron McClendon 0 2-4 2, Deangelio Kirksey 1 0-0 3, Dre Black 3 1-2 10. Totals 19 8-12 54.
D’Vonte Dockery 5 2-3 12, Deshaun Thrower 9 5-8 23, William Roberson 0 1-2 1, Joeviar Kennedy 3 0-0 6, Juwon Martin 3 0-0 6, Deyonta Davis 1 1-3 3, Ronald Jenkins 0 1-2 1. Totals 21 10-18 53
Westland 13 – 8 – 17 – 16 – 54
Muskegon 10 – 14 – 12 – 17 – 53
3-pointers: Daniels, Everette (3), Kirksey, Black (2), Thrower. Fouled out: none. Total fouls: Westland JG 17, Muskegon 9. Technicals: Muskegon bench.