By John Jarvi
Local Sports Journal

MUSKEGON – Three tough games in five nights proved to be too much for the Reeths-Puffer boys basketball team.

After losing to Muskegon on Friday and dropping a tough three-point decision to Mona Shores on Monday, the Rockets lost to Zeeland East 57-40 Tuesday in an O-K Black Conference matchup.

Jalen Cooley goes up for the layup for Reeths-Puffer. Photo/Joe Lane
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Jalen Cooley goes up for the layup for Reeths-Puffer. Photo/Joe Lane

The victory kept Zeeland East tied for the O-K Black lead with Muskegon. Both have 3-0 league records and will meet Feb. 6 in Zeeland.

The Rockets fell to 5-6 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

“If we put the ball in the basket, we’re pretty good,” said Reeths-Puffer Coach Dave Ingles. “When we don’t make shots, we get in trouble. Our legs are just tired. We’ve shot about 20 percent the last three games in a row.”

Reeths-Puffer grabbed an early 4-0 lead, but couldn’t hold it. After falling behind 13-10 after one quarter, the Rockets started the second quarter with a five-minute scoring drought and trailed 29-18 at halftime.

The Chix, who have now won three league games in a row, maintained control of the tempo most of the contest. The smaller Rockets occasionally scored a couple baskets in a row, but the Chix frequently answered with fast-break baskets in the second half.

No. 23 DeAndre Oakes-Owens passes the ball outside on the drive to the basket for Reeths-Puffer. Photo/Joe Lane
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No. 23 DeAndre Oakes-Owens passes the ball outside on the drive to the basket for Reeths-Puffer. Photo/Joe Lane

The Rockets only recorded 11 turnovers, but Ingles said “I think we make them in bad situations, and they just stand out.”

DeAndre Oakes-Owens led Reeths-Puffer with 16 points and added five steals. Jalen Cooley chipped in four rebounds and four steals.

Ben Ritsema had 15 points and Noah Poll added 13 for Zeeland East.