Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON — The Muskegon Big Red bandwagon gathered more attention in the USA Today Super 25 boys basketball list announced Tuesday. Muskegon jumped four spaces in the poll in one week and moved up to the 23rd spot in the country.

The Big Reds, who won their opening Class A regional tournament game 74-31 over Grand Rapids Northview Monday night, run their string in the national rankings to 10 weeks in a row out of the 11-week rating season.

The move into the top 25 gave a better indication of Muskegon’s success in its 24-0 season. Muskegon rates as one of only seven unbeaten teams in USA Today’s Super 25, and one of only eight unbeatens in the top 50 list. The list takes into account the team’s success, its quality of players and the strength of its schedule.

Muskegon won three games in capturing the Class A District 6 tournament title in its own gym last week. All three games had a mention in the paragraph compiled on Muskegon’s week because of its cracking the Super 25 list.

Check out a pair of Deshaun Throw and Deyonta Davis highlights from Muskegon’s district championship win over Grand Rapids Union.

The rankings underwent a shake-up as five teams dropped out of the Super 25. The teams had been ranked 10th, 11th, 14th, 19th and 20th. But the top team in the country remained the same with Montverde Academy (25-0), of Montverde, Fla.

Muskegon is now the only Michigan school ranked as a loss eliminated Detroit Pershing, one of the state tournament favorites, during a district tournament game last week.

The Big Reds will return to action Wednesday when they play Hudsonville in the 7 p.m. regional championship game at Zeeland East High School. Hudsonville advanced by beating Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills 65-49 in the second game Monday night.

The Eagles are 15-8 for the season and won the O-K Conference’s Red Division title with an 8-2 record.

Muskegon captured the O-K Black Division crown with a 10-0 league record.

Wednesday’s game will be the first between Hudsonville and Muskegon this season. The Big Reds played three O-K Red teams this season and won all three. Muskegon defeated Rockford 57-32, East Kentwood 69-63 and Grand Haven 55-45 during the regular season and then turned back Grand Haven again, 53-35, in the district tournament.