By Mark Lewis
Local Sports Journal

Muskegon’s Deshaun Thrower drives to the hoop during Friday’s game against Kenowa Hills. Photo/Doug Sims

The Muskegon School District may have canceled school Friday due to weather, school was definitely in session Friday night, as the Muskegon Big Red boys basketball squad played host to  Kenowa Hills.

While the score was tied 9-all after one quarter, the Big Reds outscored the Knights 50-11 the rest of the way, holding the visitors scoreless in the second quarter in a 59-21 romp.

For Big Red head coach Keith Guy, the cancellation of school didn’t pose too great a threat to his team’s focus.

“Whenever there is no school (prior to a game),” said Guy, “we do a shoot-around for about an hour. It’s just to get guys out of bed, because if we don’t, guys will lay around all day and then come in sluggish. It’s just to keep them sharp. Those are the little detail things that people don’t see that you have to take care of. I think it allowed us to get off to a good start.”

And what a start it was.

The Big Reds held the Knights to 0-of-6 shooting across the first six minutes, shooting out to a 9-0 lead before Kenowa Hills could even get off to a good start. However, Muskegon forward D’Vonte Dockery took a cut above his left eye early in the quarter, causing him to miss much of the rest of the first half. The Knights finally responded, knocking down three three-pointers in a row to square things up after one.

“My first thought was about D’Vonte’s health,” said Guy, who rushed Dockery off the court to have his eye looked at. “These kids are all like my children. But, we had to adjust a little bit after he went out of the game, after they hit three-straight threes.”

But the surprise Knight offensive flurry would be the only one of the game, as the Big Reds prevented a single Kenowa Hill point over the final eight minutes of the first half.

Muskegon led 24-9 at the break.

From there, Guy couldn’t have drawn up a better game plan, as his squad dominated the boards, finishing with more offensive rebounds (23) than the Knights would finish with total rebounds (22), and controlled the pace on the offensive end.

“I thought the second quarter was really nice,” he said. “To hold them to zero points, and then to give up just 12 points the rest of the way, that’s just great. We knew they like to shoot the three, so a point of emphasis for us was defending the three and to play straight-up D on them. I thought that bothered them a little bit. Our athleticism bothered them a little bit, too.”

A big factor in the Big Reds’ dominance was sophomore forward Deyonta Davis, who turned back at least seven Knight shots while also nabbing a game-high 15 rebounds, including five on the offensive end.

“He probably changed another three shots on top of that,” said Guy of his sensational sophomore, Davis. “His impact on the game was big.”

Muskegon was led offensively by senior guard Juwon Martin, who finished with 13 points while also snatching three steals, followed by eight points from junior Deshaun Thrower, and six points from William Roberson, Dockery and Jason Loera. Dockery also had seven rebounds, and Roberson dished out three assists.

In all, 11 Big Reds got into the scoring column in the rout.

Lucas Soltys paced the Knights with five points and two assists.

Muskegon 9-15-23-12-59

Kenowa Hills 9-0-6-6-21

Muskegon 59: Juwon Martin 5 1-2 13, Deshaun Thrower 3 2-2 8, William Roberson 3 0-0 6, D’Vonte Dockery 3 0-0 6, Jason Loera 2 0-1 6, Joeviair Kennedy 2 1-1 5, Deyonta Davis 2 0-0 4, Jalen Smith 2 0-0 4, Ronald Jenkins 1 1-1 3, Kenyon-Dre Craig 1 0-0 2, Jordan Waire 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 7-8 59.

Kenowa Hills 21: Lucas Soltys 2 0-0 5, Connor Carruthers 2 0-0 4, Mac Gannon 1 0-0 3, Noah Gloe 1 1-1 3, Michael Dunlap Jr. 1 0-0 2, Derek Smith 0 2-4 2, Derek Gillman 1 0-0 2, Mitchell Kraus 0 0-2 0. Totals 8 2-6 21.

Three-point field goals: Martin (2), Soltys, Gannon, Gloe. Total fouls: Kenowa Hills 10, Muskegon 9. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none.