By John Jarvi
NORTON SHORES – Close games don’t seem to bother the Mona Shores girls basketball team.
On Monday the Sailors had to battle from behind to beat Reeths-Puffer by four points in the opening round of the Class A district tournament.
Then on Wednesday they saw their lead over Grand Haven shrink to one point in the fourth quarter, before they regained control and claimed a 45-39 win in the district semifinals.
Mona Shores, now 19-3 and on a seven-game winning streak, will host Muskegon Friday at 7 p.m. in the district championship game.
“We didn’t play really well. We looked like we were really tired,” said Mona Shores Coach Brad Kurth. “We had a couple good quarters and couple not-so-good. I’m glad the kids picked it up.”
After leading by 10 points at halftime, Mona Shores stretched its lead to 12 points in the third quarter, only to have Grand Haven fight its way back to trail 33-30 at the third buzzer.
Grand Haven pulled within a point in the fourth quarter, but the Sailors scored five of the game’s last seven points to get the win.
Jordan Walker had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Mona Shores, which also got scoring from six other players.
Jena’a Matthews and Kelsey Wolffis pulled down seven and six rebounds, respectively, for the Sailors. Wolffis also had six assists while Keziah Brown came up with four steals.
D’Avion Trotter had a couple key second-quarter baskets for Mona Shores while Josalin Sanders-Walker helped out with two 3-pointers.
Amanda Merz paced Grand Haven with 19 points and four assists. Sophia Newhouse had six points, six rebounds, and three assists for the Buccaneers.
The Sailors know they will have their hands full in Friday’s title game. They beat Muskegon twice in the regular season, but needed overtime to do it later in the season.
“We’ve got a tough road this week – Reeths-Puffer, Grand Haven and Muskegon,” Kurth said. “It’s a tough road, but that’s what champs are made of.”