By Dave Hart
GRAND HAVEN – Most coaches would be thrilled with a 44-point victory in the state basketball tournament.
But Muskegon Coach Keith Guy was not particularly happy following the Big Reds’ 88-44 victory over Mona Shores Wednesday in the Class A district semifinals at Grand Haven High School.
The worst part of the game for Guy was the beginning, when his defending state champions fell behind 17-10 well into the first quarter.
“I do not think we played well,” said Guy, whose team improved to 20-1 and will meet Grand Haven Friday in the district title game. “We did not come ready to play, we came out flat and I think we played flat throughout the night.
“We blew a lot of assignments and that’s what I am mad about. We did not follow our defense or offensive game plan, but its basketball. We will learn from it and go back to practice tomorrow.”
The Sailors came out with a lot of poise and grabbed the seven point lead with 2:33 left in the first quarter. Tyler Trovinger led the uprising with nine points, including three triples.
But the Big Reds bounced back with a 7-0 run to tie the game 17-17 after the first quarter.
Muskegon opened the second quarter with a 16-2 run and led 41-23 at halftime. Joeviair Kennedy scored 10 of his 22 points in the second quarter.
Deyonta Davis scored eight points in the third quarter, helping Muskegon extend its lead to 64-35 at the buzzer. Davis finish with 27 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks.
The Big Reds closed the game with a 24-9 fourth quarter run.
“It’s about survival,” Guy said about the challenges of the state tournament. “We are playing for our lives being hunted, but we are also doing the hunting as well, because we want to defend this title as long as we can.”
Statistically the Big Reds dominated Mona Shores, with a 41-17 advantage in rebounding and 10 more steals.
“Our kids did a good job of preparing,” said Mona Shores coach Gene Gifford. “We caught them off guard, but they are a really good team that has a chance to go all the way.”
The Sailors were led by Trovinger and Darece Roberson with 13 points apiece.