John Jarvi
Local Sports Journal

The Muskegon Big Reds played an aggressive game and came away with a 54-42 victory over the host Reeths-Puffer’s Rockets in the opening game of the Class A girls basketball tournament Monday night at Reeths-Puffer.

The victory carried Muskegon, now 15-6, into the tournament semifinals Wednesday.

The Big Reds will play Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills at 6 p.m. at Reeths-Puffer High School with the winner moving on to the district championship game Friday at 7 p.m. against the winner of the Mona Shores and Grand Haven semifinal game.

Reeths-Puffer tied the score twice in the first quarter and then played catch-up for the rest of the game against Muskegon.

The teams had each won one game in the OK Conference Black Division race during the season.

This time Muskegon kept control as the Big Reds took a 10-8 lead after one quarter and built it to 31-21 by halftime and 43-25 after three quarters.

“I don’t think we backed down,” said Muskegon coach Taushauna Burrel. “The players continued to play their style of basketball. Our guards did a good job of opening up the floor for us.”

Looking ahead, Burrel said “We just expect to go out and play our style – aggressive on both ends – against Kenowa Hills.”

Muskegon had a variety of weapons against Reeths-Puffer.

Jade Paige scored 16 points and had 18 rebounds, while Mardrekia Cook had 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Janiece Levelston added seven points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Big Reds, who totaled 46 rebounds.

Raven Moore chipped in with eight steals on defense and six assists on offense for the Big Reds.

Reeths-Puffer, which finished its season 12-9 was led by 16 points from Camaryia Williams and 10 each from Kalisa Williams and Elysia Mattos.