NORTH MUSKEGON — For pure excitement, Friday night’s West Michigan Conference boys basketball game between visiting Mason County Central and North Muskegon rated a 10.

The two teams kept the fans on the edge of their seats, and screaming at the top of their lungs, with first one team going on a run, and then the other.

But the Norsemen had the final one, that lifted them to a pulse pounding 58-56 overtime victory over the Spartans, who had came back from an 11-point deficit at the half.

“We had some real crucial possessions quite frankly taken away at the end,” Spartans’ head coach Tim Genson said. “Give all the credit to North Muskegon. They got the job done when they needed to.

“We just had some unfortunate breaks not go our way. We just had a pair of two-point games in a row with the league leaders and the second place team. We’re right there. We just have to find a way to break through the glass ceiling, I guess.”

The Norsemen gained a six-point lead, 17-11 at the end of the first quarter and outscored the Spartans, 11-6 in the second period. Quinn Kersman hit a half court shot at the buzzer to close the first half and give the Norsemen a 28-17 halftime cushion.

Knocking down three 3-point shots, the Spartans tore through the Norsemen defense for 20 points while North Muskegon scored just 10 and grabbed a 48-47 edge going into the fourth period.

Mason County Central took a three-point lead with about 1:30 left in regulation before James Young drained a free throw, and the miss went off a Spartan player.

The Norsemen scored on an inbound play, then defended well on the Spartans’ last shot put up by Will Chye.

In overtime, the teams traded baskets to start the overtime before the Spartans scored from the right block to take the lead. Brandon Rypstra shook loose for a corner 3-point bomb to send the Norsemen ahead.

North Muskegon then got a defensive stop and a rebound, which led to Troy McManus hitting a deuce to put the Norsemen up by three.

Leading by two, the Norsemen ran some clock but missed a shot with about 20 seconds to go, and the Spartans got the rebound, calling timeout. But their attempt at the buzzer fell short.

“Defensively, we did some really good things,” said Genson. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t capitalize on our opportunities. Sometimes you need to get a break, too. We missed layups, we missed some free throws, we missed some defensive assignments that could have been enough to put us over the top.

“It’s just that some of those moments become disappointing.”

Sam Gallo paced the Norsemen with 13 points and had five rebounds. Rypstra added 11 points Young finished with nine points and three assists, while Champ Young had nine points and five boards. McManus added five points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Chye knocked down five 3-point shots and scored a game-high 27 points, while Jayden Perrone finished with 12 points, all of them coming in the second half. Kolden Meyer chipped in with 10 points.

The Norsemen improved their record to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the conference with their fifth consecutive win. North Muskegon is next scheduled to see action at home Monday against Muskegon Heights.

Mason County Central saw its record lowered to 3-6 overall and 0-5 in the league. The Spartans are next scheduled to host Shelby on Monday, Jan. 24.