Local Sports Journal

The Shelby boys basketball team clinched the West Michigan Conference championship Thursday with a resounding 72-48 victory over North Muskegon.

The conference title was the third in four years for the Tigers, who remain undefeated this season with a 15-0 overall record and an 11-0 league mark.

The Tigers were determined to play well against a good North Muskegon team, which they only beat by three points earlier in the season, according to Shelby Coach Rick Zoulek.

“This was a big win for us,” Zoulek said. “We played stronger and tougher this time. (The Norse) kind of beat up on us last time, and the kids didn’t want to let that happen tonight.”

Before the season, Zoulek stressed that he had a young squad with only one returning starter, and said he wasn’t sure how the team would perform. But the Tigers have obviously surpassed all expectations by remaining unbeaten this late in the season.

“We’ve really improved quickly,” Zoulek said. “That’s mainly been due to the kids working hard to play good defense.”

Caleb Anderson and Jeffrey Beckman led Shelby with 24 and 21 points, respectively.

Marco Visconti paced North Muskegon with 12 points.