By Ron Rop
Local Sports Journal
The Muskegon Big Reds will get another shot at the Grand Haven Buccaneers after surviving a 58-46 contest against the Cedar Springs Red Hawks on Wednesday night.
Muskegon (15-7) will face the undefeated Bucs at 7 p.m. Friday at Grand Haven.
For much of the game against the Red Hawks, the Big Reds had the game well in control. But there were a few anxious moments in the second half when Cedar Springs’ scrappy style of play, led by point guard Molly Holtrop, caused some problems for Coach Tauschauna Burrel’s team.
“It was a tough one,” Burrel said. “If it’s not easy, we don’t want it.”
Early on, it was easy for Muskegon, which surged to a 17-7 lead after the first quarter. The Red Hawks were able to cut six points off the deficit by the half.
Cedar Springs’ completed the comeback with 2:21 left in the third quarter when Samantha Taylor scored on a layup – her only two points of the game – to tie the game at 31-all.
Muskegon was able to make another surge and went up by five points, but a Holtrop 3-pointer made it 36-34 early in the fourth quarter. Another 5-0 run made it 41-34 for Muskegon, which was able to hold off Cedar Springs the rest of the game.
Jade Page led Muskegon with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Janiece Levelston added 16 points and four steals. Madrieka Cook had 10 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Allie Veltkamp led Cedar Springs with 20 points and Holtrop with 11. Brittany Todd added nine points.
How come the next task at hand for the Big Reds – facing the Bucs.
“It’s a dream ending to the districts,” Burrel said. “We’re coming in and we will be well prepared.”
Muskegon 58, Cedar Springs 46
Keirra Guy 1 7-12 9, Raven Moore 1 0-0 3, Madriecka Cook 2 6-8 10, Janiece Levelston 7 2-6 16, Jade Page 8 4-9 20. Totals 19 19-35 58.
Molly Holtrop 3 4-5 11, Hannah Wight 0 2-2 2, Mikenzie Francis 1 0-0 2, Samantha Taylor 1 0-0 2, Allie Veltkamp 5 7-12 20, Brittany Todd 3 3-4 9. Totals 13 16-23 46.
Muskegon 17 – 9 – 10 – 22 — 58
Cedar Springs 7 – 15 – 9 – 15 — 46
3-pointers: Moore, Holtrop, Veltkamp (3). Total fouls: Muskegon 15, Cedar Springs 20. Fouled out: H. Wight. Technicals: Muskegon bench.
Interesting. every article about MCC specifically points out all the muskegon transfers but never any mention of the tranfers from the heights to muskegon in the articles about the lady Big Reds. Why is that?
The Muskegon Catholic girls basketball team underwent a huge transformation five weeks ago. Their team went from good to very, very good. When we cover games, the impact of the transfers is brought up in conversation/interviews by both MCC coach Erich Adams and opposing coaches. We have seen the 'before' and 'after.' On the other hand, the Heights' players move to Muskegon has not been a topic of conversation from anyone who I have talked to – not coaches, ADs or fans. Was the impact as drastic at Muskegon as it has been at MCC?
Not sure of the impact because it is rarely brought up. unfortunately, I only know that there were transfers, but the quantity and level of impact has been – especially for the girls. I've seen some mention of it with the boys – specifically Deshawn Thrower. So really, the timing of the transfers makes the difference? I would be curious as to what was expected of Muskegon (and Mona Shores for that matter) before / after the situation at Heights unfolded. The "rumor" is that the girls that came over from MH are better than the "6 starters" that left. I personally can't comment on that because I haven't seen Muskegon play. Either way, I wish both of the schools good luck as they get into the tournaments. It's just disheartening to see the girls that have been at MCC and have been so good about this transistion having to constantly be subjected to it. I get it in the beginning but like you said, its been 5 weeks. at this point they are all Crusaders – not crusaders/big reds.
No disrespect intended either Ron. Much apprecation to you guys for doing what you do.