By Craig Beilfuss
Local Sports Journal.com

MUSKEGON — Clutch free shooting down the stretch and connecting on a dozen 3-point shots were the two main ingredients for Orchard View’s 61-53 win over North Muskegon on Tuesday night.

The Cardinals led the rally in the opening game of  the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Classic.

The Cardinals were paced by 10-of-12 shooting from the free throw line in the final eight minutes, with senior Darius Williams going 8-of-10 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.

The Cardinals played the Norse even in the first and ended up tied at 15-15. Delaney Oakes led OV with eight first-quarter points, including two 3-pointers.

The Norsemen held the upper hand in the second, outscoring the Cardinals 15-11 to take a 30-26 halftime lead.

North Muskegon relied heavily on big man Jason Bogue who tossed in eight second quarter points to put the Norsemen in the lead.

OV continued its struggles against North Muskegon in the third quarter and trailed 43-37 to start the fourth.

Orchard View finally caught fire, hitting four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to go along with a dozen free throws and outscore North Muskegon 24-10 for comeback win.

Williams led the Orchard View attach with a game-high 19 points, and tallied 8 assists and 7 rebounds. Joining him in double figures were Delaney Oakes who tossed in 17 points, Keith McAlister netted 12 points and Stephon Oakes finished with 11 points.

Bogue led North Muskegon with 10 points to go along with 8 rebounds. Troy McManus put up nine points and five rebounds.

“Close game throughout, difference was from 3-point range,” said North Muskegon Coach Chuck Rypstra. “They made almost all free throws down the stretch.”

Orchard View improves to 2-2 overall and they will be right back at Reeths-Puffer on Tuesday, January 4 to take on the Rockets.

North Muskegon falls to 2-3 on the season and will travel to Ravenna on Tuesday, January 4.

Check out a few photos from the action shot by Joe Lane.