By Andrew Johnson
MUSKEGON – The Reeths-Puffer girls basketball team has been on a mission since losing to crosstown rival Muskegon in January.
The Rockets ripped off six straight wins following that loss, then came full circle and gained some revenge by posting a 60-41 victory over the Big Reds in a key O-K Black Conference contest on Friday.
Reeths-Puffer is now 15-2 overall and 7-2 in O-K Black Conference play, a game behind first-place Jenison. The Rockets will travel to Fruitport for another conference matchup on Tuesday.
Muskegon fell to 10-6 overall and 6-2 in the conference. The Big Reds will face Jenison on the road on Tuesday.
“I see the girls are starting to believe in themselves,” said Reeths-Puffer head coach Rodney Walker. “They’ve been consistent in the things we’ve been trying to do.”
The domination started from the beginning. Reeths-Puffer jumped out to a 14-4 advantage after one quarter, leaving the Big Reds with a deficit they were unable to overcome.
Sophia Hekkema led the Rockets with five points in the opening quarter.
“It’s real tough,” said Muskegon head coach Paris Thomas. “We have to be able to recover and overcome bad reps. We have to overcome adversity.”
The Rockets defense was stifling again in the second quarter, holding Muskegon to nine points. R-P led 32-13 at halftime.
Senior standout Lauren Ross, who played sick on Friday, had 12 points in the second quarter for R-P.
“I started attacking a little more,” said Ross about how she found a groove in the second quarter. “I just kept driving and I knew my shot was going to fall. I felt like the second quarter was really good.”
Reeths-Puffer held a 44-23 lead at the end of three quarters. Muskegon had an 18-16 edge in the fourth, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Ross led the Rockets with 23 points and 12 rebounds while Hekkema added 10 points.
Muskegon was led by DeShonna Day with 15 points while Nash totaled 11.