By Justin Haggerty
Local Sports Journal
MUSKEGON – The Mona Shores Sailors went into Tuesday’s non-conference match-up at Catholic Central struggling, having won just two of their last eight games.
The Sailors came through with a big road victory 61-54 to improve to 5-9 on the season.
Mona Shores came out strong and jumped out to an 8-1 lead midway through the first quarter. MCC would cut the lead to five by the end of the quarter.
Keying the Sailors early on was junior guard Kobe Burse, who had seven rebounds in the opening quarter. Burse finished with a double-double with 18 points, 18 rebounds and three steals.
“We got a lead early and then they ended up taking the lead because we didn’t take care of the ball,” said Mona Shores head coach Gene Gifford. “We had defensive lapses, we didn’t rebound.”
“The last four minutes of the (first) half, I thought we turned it on and got some momentum going into the second half.”
In the second quarter, the Crusaders brought a balanced attack, got to the free-throw line and cut the halftime deficit to three points at 27-24.
“We didn’t really execute the scouting plan. We knew that Burse and (Tyler) Trovinger were going to be their two main guys,” said MCC head coach Lamar Jordan. “As a whole, our team didn’t execute the scouting plan and that’s why you lose that game.”
In the second half, Catholic had a chance to close the gap made 6-of-14 from the line. For the game, MCC made 14 of its 27 free throws.
“We put up 75 free throws a practice,” Jordan said. “It boils down to the kids being able to knock down free throws. The kids have to take advantage of the opportunities on the free throw line, we didn’t do that tonight.”
Besides Burse, Mona Shores had Trovinger finish with 19 points and D’Quintaye Ross with 11 rebounds.
MCC was led by Erik VanFossen with 16 points.