By Mark Lewis
Local Sports Journal
The long-awaited showdown between rival Mona Shores and Muskegon Catholic was one whale of a game.
At least it was for two quarters.
The visiting Mona Shores Sailors exploded for 42-second half points to roll to the 67-51 non-league victory Tuesday night.
For Shores coach Nick Bronsema, stopping the Crusaders’ two outside shooters – Adam Callow and John Daniel – was priority No. 1.
“What we asked (our guys) to do was to stop their two clutch shooters,” said Bronsema. “Callow is an excellent shooter and Daniel is an excellent player too. That was our goal.”
With the duo scoring just four points apiece, Bronsema can consider that chore mission accomplished.
However, Catholic looked in the first half like they may be able to overcome any defensive wrinkle the Sailors might throw its way.
Both teams traded baskets through the first eight minutes, with Shores us 10-8 after one, and when the Sailors extended their lead to eight, the Crusaders finished off the half with a 4-0 run, including a short jumper off the hand of Daniel at the buzzer to make it 25-21 Shores.
But MCC inside presence Cari Campbell picked up a third foul late in the first half, requiring Catholic head coach Lamar Jordan to sit Campbell to open the second half.
“Things changed in the third quarter,” said Jordan. “They got out there and ran and got some easy baskets. Cari had three fouls, plus (Mona Shores) went with more of a speed lineup, so we tried to combat that with our speed lineup. That made it tough in that third quarter to slow them down.”
A 9-2 run in the middle of the third, allowed the Sailors to go up 49-36 after three, and from there, the Crusaders just couldn’t keep up with the Sailors’ pin-point shooting.
Mona Shores hit nine of its final 12 shots, even as both teams cleared their respective benches.
One thing stuck out in the Sailor win: this team is starting to play team basketball. Bronsema said that’s by design.
“One of favorite things was to go and watch a Michigan State practice,” said Bronsema, who also brought his charges to see a Hope College practice as well. “These got to go in (to the locker room after practice to see what team bonding was all about. We’ve really worked on getting these kids to bond, bringing them in on the weekend, sometimes just to hang out. That’s been kind of our focus.”
Adreon Billips and Marcus Tumblin led the Sailors with 11 and 10 points apiece, with Cameron Matthews posting nine points and Logan Smith and Marquon Sargent each adding eight in the victory.
Catholic was led by Campbell, who finished with a game-high 12 points, with teammate Lamar Jordan III adding seven points in the loss.
Mona Shores 67, Muskegon Catholic 51
Marcus Tumblin 5 0-0 10, Julian Loera 1 0-0 2, Dimitris Demetriou 1 0-0 2, Marquon Sargent 4 0-0 8, Adreon Billips 4 2-2 11, Logan Smith 4 0-2 8, John Steger 1 0-0 2, Cameron Matthews 4 1-3 9, Kobe Burse 3 0-0 6, Logan Haugh 2 1-2 5. Totals 29 5-9 67.
Jesse Anderson 2 1-2 6, Cari Campbell 5 2-4 12, Adam Callow 1 2-2 4, Chase Klairter 1 1-2 4, John Daniel 3 2-2 4, Lamar Jordan 3 0-0 7, Brant McCollum 2 1-2 5, Erik VanFossen 2 0-0 4, Jack Farrell 2 0-0 4. Totals 21 9-14 51.
Mona Shores 10-15-24-18-67
Muskegon Catholic 8-13-15-15-51
Three-point field goals: Billips, Anderson, Klariter, Jordan. Total fouls: Mona Shores 16, Muskegon Catholic 13. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none.