Local Sports Journal

What do you do one game after seeing your 2-year home winning streak snapped?

You start another one, of course.

The Muskegon Height boys climbed to 12-2 overall with a convincing 99-65 victory over visiting Cheboygan Thursday night in nonleague hoops action.

“It was good to get that (home win streak) going again,” said Heights head coach Dalrecus Stewart. “We know we’re going to get everybody’s best, especially with how well we’ve been playing.”

Yet, the Tigers struggled to score in Tuesday’s home loss to Ottawa Hills, and after having just two score in double figures against the Bengals, Heights had five players scored at least 14 points against Cheboygan.

The Chiefs tried to pressure and play uptempo versus the Heights, and Stewart said that led to a lot of easy transition baskets.

“We were able to get up the floor and score, not in (predetermined) sets, but with a lot of different games, and that opened things up for several (Heights’ players) to score,” Stewart said.

The Tigers ran out to the 29-11 lead after one, and held the 55-35 lead at the break. Two 22-point quarters in the second half sealed things up for the Heights.

It was good medicine for a squad that, just two days ago, seemed like it was at a crossroads.

“This (loss) does a better job of delivering the message than me delivering the message,” said Stewart. “If there are some things, some undertones, that we weren’t addressing, maybe this game will bring everything to the surface.”

Thursday night, Stewart said his team is finding a way to bring things together.

“It was disappointing to lose (Tuesday night), but we found a solution to what, really was holding us back,” he said. “This is a good team when we play like we can. Tonight was a step in the right direction.”

Heights’ seniors Eddie Tornes and Aaron Sydnor finished with 19 and 18 points, respectively. Tornes had six rebounds and Sydnor blocked three shots. Junior forward DeMonte Crosby finished with 15 points and two blocks, while junior James Doxey had 14 points and Ontario Porchia added 13 for the Tigers.

Stewart pointed to the play of Doxey, and senior forward Kwamayne Anthony, as good examples of how he’d like his team to play.

“James is a good kid, so I was pretty pleased with the way he played,” said Stewart. “He was all over the place. And Anthony didn’t score as much as James, but he played some great pressure defense and was tough on the boards.”

Cheboygan was led by Luke Harrington with 33 points.