MUSKEGON — Western Michigan Christian honored its girls cross country team for winning the state championship in the fall, but the Holton boys basketball team spoiled the evening at the end with a 44-40 non-conference victory in Muskegon.

It started out well enough for the Warriors when they gained a 7-6 edge at the end of the first quarter. Each team scored 15 points in the second, leaving them tied, 22-22 at the half.

The Red Devils outscored the Warriors, 11-9 in the third period and took a 33-31 lead into the fourth quarter. Holton had an 11-9 edge in the final eight minutes.

“It seemed like the guys had fun tonight, and that really helps,” said Holton head coach Keith Swanson. “I think the last couple weeks it became so much about meeting expectations that we lost some of that, and it was great to have that back again.

“Hopefully, we can keep building on that, and really enjoy the rest of the season together.”

Wyatt Monette scored 13 points, hauled down 10 rebounds and snagged four steals. Austin Fowler followed with 12 points and dished out five assists.

Kevin Erickson tossed in 11 points, while Carter Brant added eight points and dished out five assists.

“Give Holton a lot of credit,” said WMC coach Kurt Gruppen. “They are a very disciplined team that did a nice job of making free throws and taking care of the basketball down the stretch.

“I am proud of the way our team competed. We had some chances toward the end of the game and couldn’t quite get a basket to drop, Holton is a potential district opponent for us, and we look forward to hopefully seeing them down the road.”

Owen Varnado scored 20 points to lead the Warriors, while Jared Olsen contributed 11 points.

Holton improved to 12-5 overall and is next scheduled to be in action Friday at Hesperia.

WMC fell to 5-11 overall and the Warriors are next scheduled to play at Catholic Central on Friday.