By Mark Lewis
Local Sports Journal

Area basketball fans got a good taste Friday night of two teams from Muskegon, although the result wasn’t what most were expecting.

Host Mona Shores (6-5, 3-0), which got off to a slow start but now seems to be righting the ship, and Reeths-Puffer, which shot out to a surprising 9-2 start, tangled for a share of the lead atop the OK Black Conference.

But where the Rockets have excelled this year, on the offensive end, they stumbled Friday shooting from the field, connecting on fewer than of 20-percent of their shots versus the Sailors to fall 46-28.

For Mona Shores, the win solidifies the team’s sudden turnaround, which has now won five straight after starting 1-5.

“Just before Christmas, we turned this thing around,” said Sailor head coach Brad Kurth. “We lost a few close games to some tough teams, and, you know, we’ve started to turn it around. The reason we lost those games was not good play down the stretch. I felt like we played well enough to win in those games. We just didn’t blew it in four different ways down the stretch. Some of that is maturity and some of that it is playing better basketball.”

The Sailors ran out to the quick 13-7 lead after one, and took a 20-13 into the locker room at the half. The contest was decided in the third, as the Sailors’ Amy Gillings came up with four of her game-high six steals, helping her team to some easy transition baskets and the 32-19 edge. The lead grew to over 20 in the fourth.

For the Rockets, though the loss is a setback, the team is far from out of it.

“It’s the third game of the conference season,” said Rocket head coach Brandon Berry. “We still have a long road ahead of us, you know. This is just one little setback, one little bump in the road, and I would expect a better game the second time around.”

The Sailors were paced by 16 points – all threes – from Sarah Kones, with Jasmyn Walker and Jena’a Matthews both adding nine points apiece while also coming down with nine and five rebounds, respectively. Meredith Smith added four assists in the win.

Grace Swanson led the Rockets with nine points, with Cararyia Williams finishing with eight in the loss. Tyler Siedell added four steals for Reeths-Puffer.

Rachel Anderson 1 0-0 2, Amy Gillings 2 0-0 4, Sarah Jones 4 0-0 16, Meredith Smith 1 2-2 4, Brooke Ledsworth 1 0-0 2, Jena’a Matthews 3 3-3 9, Jasmyn Walker 3 3-5 9, Morgan Smith 1 0-0 2, Saddie Vela 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 8-10 46.

Hannah Lemieux 1 0-0 2, Grace Swanson 3 2-2 9, Carrie Wilson 3 0-0 7, Tyler Siedell 1 0-0 2, Camaryia Williams 3 2-5 8. Totals 11 4-7 28.

Mona Shores 13-7-12-14-46
Reeths-Puffer 7-6-6-9-28

Three-point field goals: Jones (4), Swanson, Wilson. Total fouls: Reeths-Puffer 16, Mona Shores 14. Fouled out: Walker. Technical fouls: none.