Montague’s varsity boys basketball team turned its defensive intensity up a notch in the second half against host Hart on Thursday, helping the Wildcats turn a tight lead at the half into a comfortable 60-35 victory in West Michigan Conference action.

The Wildcats improve to 8-2 overall and 7-1 in league play, and remain a game behind league-leading Whitehall in the WMC.

Montague had just a 21-16 lead at the half, but the Wildcats outscored the Pirates 23-10 in the third and 16-9 in the fourth to inflate the final margin of victory.

Forward Josh Weesies turned in a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds for Montague. Merritt Hamann added 12 points and six rebounds, and Kenyan Johnson contributed 11 points, three assists, two steals and two blocks.

Hart was led by sophomore Simon Herrera with 10 points. The Pirates are 4-8 overall and 2-6 in league play.