By Justin Haggerty
Local Sports Journal

NORTH MUSKEGON – It’s tough for a coach to learn much about his personnel after just one game.

But Muskegon Catholic girls basketball Coach Erich Adams at least knows he has several players who can rise up and take control of a close game.

Five different Crusaders scored during the third quarter Tuesday, allowing Muskegon Catholic to outscore North Muskegon by 13 points en route to a 38-23 victory opening night victory.

“We have some seniors that for the first time in their high school careers are in a leadership role on a varsity team,” Adams said. “They’re doing an excellent job with that, bringing the younger kids along.”

The first quarter was low scoring. North Muskegon junior guard Mya Duncan drained both of her three point attempts and MCC senior forward Zhane Harris scored four points, and the Crusaders led 8-6 at the buzzer.

Quentavia Robertson scored a quick four points for the Crusaders to momentarily double up the Lady Norse, 12-6, early in the second quarter.

Raven Fairfield got North Muskegon two points closer before Hailee McKenna and Harris each nailed field goals for MCC. Olivia Duncan hit both of her free throws to get the Norse back on the board but MCC led at halftime 16-12.

“I felt like we didn’t execute our offense the way I would like and that’s my fault,” explained North Muskegon head coach William Fricke. “Defensively, we didn’t quite put the pressure on them the way we had talked about at the beginning of this season.”

MCC would take over with five different players getting points in the third, winning the period 15-2 and leading 31-14 going into the final frame.

Harris led all scorers with 13 points. Olivia Duncan paced the Norse with nine points.

MCC opens Lakes 8 Conference play on Friday at home against Spring Lake while North Muskegon kicks off West Michigan Conference action in Hart the same night.