NORTH MUSKEGON — Jakari Edwards made two huge free throws late in the game to help secure a 48-43 victory for Muskegon Heights boys basketball team over North Muskegon on the road Monday night in a non-conference matchup.
The Tigers held a two-point lead with 25 seconds left when the Norsemen broke through the Heights defense and had a man in the corner.
But that opportunity was snuffed out when Edwards got a big steal, and was fouled. He went to the line and calmly sank both free throws.
Heights got the ball back, and the Norsemen intentionally fouled William Davis. Davis sank the front-end of the one-and-one free throw shots.
The Norsemen had possession with 12 seconds left, but missed a couple shots and that was the ball game.
It was close from start to finish, with the Tigers leading, 13-10 after the first quarter. But, the Norsemen came back with a 12-5 edge in the second to grab a four-point lead, 22-18 at the half.
Heights stormed back, outscoring the Norsemen, 14-8 in the third period to pull back in front, 32-26 entering the fourth quarter. The Tigers never led by more than four points until the final.
“It took us awhile to match their speed,” Norsemen head coach Chuck Rypstra said. “They made just a few more plays than us. It was a good game, an exciting one to watch.
“We had our chances, even late in the game. But we missed a few too many shots.”
Edwards finished as the Tigers’ leading scorer for the night with 18 points, while Davis scored 16 points.
North Muskegon scoring leaders were Troy McManus with 13 points and Sam Gallo with 10. Ben Meyers added six points, three steals and three assists.
The Tigers raised their record to 6-3 overall. Heights is next scheduled to play at Orchard View on Friday, Jan. 28.
North Muskegon had a five-game winning streak snapped and saw its record drop to 7-4 overall. Next up for the Norsemen is a road trip to Manistee on Friday.
Check out photos from the battle taken by Joe Lane.