Local Sports Journal
By Devon Kitchen
While there’s no doubt that the Muskegon Heights Tigers worked hard to win their Class B regional basketball title, they certainly made it look easy.
On Monday the Tigers dispatched Kalamazoo Hackett 88-44 to advance to the regional final.
On Wednesday they raced to a 22-8 first quarter lead and never looked back as they clinched a spot in the Class C quarterfinals with a 68-43 win over New Buffalo at Bridgman High School.
The Tigers, now 20-3, will play the winner of Thursday’s Hillsdale-Vermontville Maple Valley game next Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Vicksburg High School.
The Hillsdale-Maple Valley game was supposed to be played Wednesday but was postponed by weather.
Maybe the Tigers have been playing so well because their coach, Dale Stewart, has high expectations.Despite the fact that his team took control of the contest early, Stewart wasn’t satisfied with the way the Tigers opened the game.
“We came out way too confident to start out, after the first quarter I just had to let my boys know that this isn’t a team to be played around with,” Stewart said. “They can take us out in a blink of an eye.”
Muskegon Heights led 30-16 at halftime and 49-27 after three quarters. The Bison made a late run and pulled within 10 points in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.
Eddie Tornes paced the Tigers with 20 points and three assists. Aaron Sydnor added 13 points and nine steals, Marquis Graham had 12 points and 11 rebounds and James Dexey contributed 11 points for the winners.
Marques Martz had 19 points for New Buffalo, which finished the season with a 16-8 record.