By Andrew Johnson
MUSKEGON TWP. – Coming into Friday night, the Orchard View boys basketball team hadn’t lost a game on its home court.
So when the Muskegon Heights Tigers left OV on Friday with a 67-54 victory, they knew they had accomplished something meaningful.
“It feels good to do this,” said Heights guard Kevon Washington. “I’m a transfer from Mona Shores and it’s great to play with these guys. It was just an excellent win that we needed.”
Things started out well for the Tigers when they jumped out to a 22-12 lead after the first quarter. Romeo Blackshire led the early burst with nine points.
In the second quarter, Ke’ontae Barnes scored 10 points to help Orchard View cut its halftime deficit to 36-32. Washington had eight second-quarter points for the Tigers.
Midway through the third, Muskegon Heights’ Lamonte Townsend took his turn displaying his talents with back-to-back fast break blocks, before stealing the ball and slamming it home a minute later.
“I pulled him earlier in the game because I know his potential,” said Muskegon Heights head coach Dalrecus Stewart. “He was a little casual closing out, so I chewed him out and he said, ‘Okay, I’m ready.’ He then went out and hustled and made two huge plays for us.”
OV’s Brady Bowen hit a triple with four seconds left in the third quarter, pulling the Cardinals within four points, 49-45, heading into the fourth.
But the Tigers converted 8 of 10 free throws and forced seven turnovers down the stretch to seal the win.
Blackshire led Muskegon Heights with 24 points while Washington finished with 19. Orchard View was led by Barnes with 16 points.
The Tigers improved to 3-7 overall and 3-1 in Lakes 8 Activities Conference play.
“This is a good win for us,” Stewart said. “They’ve been playing well all year and we’ve had peaks and valleys. We’ve had a lot of tough competition, but showed some promise tonight. I’m going to try to keep building on this momentum with them.”
Orchard View falls to 8-2 overall and 2-2 in conference play.