By Jim Goorman

Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON – The Mona Shores boys basketball team rode the hot shooting of Marcus Tumblin Wednesday night to nab a well- deserved 62-48 triumph over visiting Spring Lake.

The physical contest was made worse by the fact that it was the host Sailors’ second game in two nights.

And yet, Head Coach Gene Gifford’s Sailors can now breathe a bit easier heading into the Christmas break sporting a 4-0 record.

“Playing back-to-back games are hard because we really needed to do some drill work but could not because of the game tonight,” lamented Gifford.  “We had to talk about (changes) that were needed and could not show them on the court.”

Senior Shores’ guard Marcus Tumblin did the most damage for the hosts, scoring a game-high 25 points, going 10-for-10 at the free throw line, while also pulling down nine rebounds and three steals, providing the Sailors a spark throughout the evening.

It was Tumblin’s shooting that got Shores running in the first quarter, as he scored 10 of his team’s 12 first-quarter points.

“I am just glad that we got the’ W’,” said Tumblin after the game.  “I have moved to the 2-guard and I am trying to be aggressive on the boards. We still have to work and cannot sleep or else our opponents will gain momentum.”

The Sailors led for nearly the entire game – except when hardworking Keegan George scored for Spring Lake in the first quarter to give his Lakers a 9-7 advantage with 2 minutes left.

A 7-0 Shores run beginning the second quarter gave the hosts the 30-22 advantage going into the locker room at half.

Senior Adreon Billips gave Shores a lift off the bench, scoring 14 points, including a trey as time expired in the third quarter to give Shores breathing room at 43-37.

Nick Geoglin, the 6’7 center for Spring Lake, had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but struggled at the free throw line, going 1-of- 5. Teammate Kyle Zietlow added 14 points in the loss.

Logan Haugh grabbed eight boards for Mona Shores, and Hunter Broersma added five rebounds in the win. Shores’ Cam Matthews dished out six assists.

“We knew they had good role players which gave us tough match ups,” said veteran Spring Lake coach Bill Core whose team struggled at the line.  “We are now getting ready for conference play and we are a good team. We have to believe that and we will be OK.”

The Lakers fall to a surprising 0-3 overall record.

Keeping the Lakers from getting good looks was vital for the Sailors.

“Defense is a key (to our team) and we seem to be buying into it this early in the season, which is a nice surprise,” said Gifford.

It’s no present under the Christmas tree, but the win and undefeated start should make for a pretty good Holiday Break for Gifford and the Sailors.