By John Jarvi
Local Sports Journal
NORTON SHORES – Western Michigan Christian’s Warriors ran away in the second half and defeated the host Mona Shores Sailors 60-46 Tuesday night in a non-league boys basketball game.
WM Christian (9-4) won for the second time in three seasons against Mona Shores. The taller Warriors nipped the Sailors 60-58 at the buzzer 2 years ago, but they left no doubt this time.
The Warriors used an 18-0 spurt in the third quarter to pull away for good. The spurt turned a 1-point deficit in the opening minute of the third quarter into a 44-27 lead 6 minutes later.
“We played really well,” said Kyle Mastenbrook, the Warrior coach. “We didn’t make our shots in the first half and kept playing basketball. Our shots were dropping in the second half and we moved the ball well.”
Christian hit 15 of 22 field goal tries in the second half, including two three-pointers in the third quarter.
Mona Shores, now 3-9, took a brief 27-26 lead in the third quarter on an opening basket by Tyler Trovinger, but that lead only set up the 18-0 run by Christian.
“They played well,” said Sailor coach Gene Gifford. “They out-executed us and out-worked us.”
Mona Shores twice built-up five-point leads in the second quarter only to have Christian recover and take a 26-25 halftime lead.
The Warriors flashed a nice combination of balanced scoring and teamwork in the game. Christian had five players score seven or more points while piling up 22 assists for the game.
Devin Eekhoff had a game-high 16 points and added eight rebounds while Jacob Ray had 10 points and nine assists for the Warriors. Nate Dugener had eight points and Jared Varnado and Logan Waller seven each for the Warriors.
The Warriors also had a 28-23 lead in rebounds, 22 coming on the defensive board. The Warriors also limited the Sailors to no second shots off misses on offense during the third quarter.
Eric Nelson had 11 points and Kobe Burse 10 points and 18 rebounds for Mona Shores, which has now lost three games in a row.
The upcoming Friday schedule has WMC playing at Grand River Prep while Mona Shores goes to Reeths-Puffer to play the Rockets in an O-K Conference Black Division game.