By Craig Beilfuss
Anthony Sydnor III provided the fuel with a game high 21 points as the Big Reds cruised past the Benton Harbor Tigers, 84-58.
The Big Reds never had the lead in the first eight minutes and found themselves trailing 21-16. Benton Harbor guard Grant Gondrezick was connecting from long range as he led the Tiger offense with 11 first quarter points.
Benton Harbor had their largest lead of the game 27-20 at the five minute mark of the second quarter before the momentum change for the evening.
Muskegon finished the half on a 14-2 run and took the lead for good at 28-27 when Sydnor III connected on a free throw with 2:43 remaining in the second quarter.
Muskegon went on to outscore Benton Harbor 18-8 in the second quarter to take a 34-29 halftime lead.
“We have only played four games and so we are still trying to get our legs underneath us,” said Muskegon head coach Keith Guy, in reference to the sluggish offensive start.
The Big Reds continued to force the offensive tempo in the second half as they would hold the upper hand in the third quarter 24-18 over the Tigers to take a 58-47 entering the fourth quarter.
It was all Muskegon in the final eight minutes as they put Benton Harbor away racking up a 26-11 scoring advantage for the final 26-point margin of victory.
Joining Sydnor III in double figures for the Big Reds were junior Jordan Briggs with14 points, junior David Day III tossed in 13 points, senior Maurice Sain Jr., chipped in with 12 points and senior Ethan Hill found the nets for 10 points.
“That’s what we are looking for,” said veteran Muskegon Big Reds head coach Keith Guy in regards to a balanced scoring attack. “We feel like any number of guys can go out there and lead us on any given night.”
Muskegon cashed in at the free throw line going 17-of-24 and the Big Reds connected on 7 3-point shot attempts.
“Quite pleased with the free throw shooting. That is the second night in a row,” said Guy.
Senior JaJuan Walker led the Benton Harbor attack with 17 points. He was followed by junior Grant Gondrezick with 15 points and sophomore Javon Mason who tossed in 11 points.
Muskegon improves to 4-0 on the season and is 1-0 in OK Conference-Green action. The Big Reds will travel to Grand Rapids Union on Tuesday, January 11.
Lansing Waverly 66 Detroit Henry Ford 51
The Lansing Waverly Warriors got by the Detroit Henry Ford Trojans 66-51 on Saturday afternoon in the first of three games in the Muskegon Basketball Showcase.
Waverly led 13-5 after the first eight minutes.
The Warriors would go on to hold a 24-15 halftime lead outscoring Henry Ford 11-10 in the second stanza.
Both teams tossed in 23 points in the up tempo third quarter, while Waverly held the upper hand in the final eight minutes 16-13 for the win.
Detroit King 73 Kalamazoo Central 59
Senior Lamont Parks, Jr. tossed in a game high 24 points and teammate senior Chansey Willis, Jr chipped in with 21 points as the Detroit King Crusaders ran past the Kalamazoo Central Maroon Giants 73-59 Saturday evening in the second of three games played at the Muskegon Basketball Showcase.
The Crusaders jumped out quickly to a 27-8 lead after the first eight minutes of play.
Kalamazoo Central attempted to narrow the gap, outscoring King in the second stanza 18-14 and went into the halftime break trailing 41-26.
Detroit King put the game out of reach with a big third quarter as rang up 21 points to the Maroon Giants 13 and took a comfortable 62-39 lead into the fourth quarter.
Kalamazoo Central outscored Detroit King 20-11 in the final eight minutes.
Junior Hutch Ward led Kalamazoo Central with 21 points. He was followed by senior Thomas Dillard IV with 12 points and senior Scott Hughes with 11.
Check out more photos from the Big Reds’ win shot by Tim Reilly.