By Craig Beilfuss

GRAND RAPIDS—The Muskegon Big Reds took on the Ferndale Eagles in the final game of “The Showcase” at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids on Saturday evening. 

Muskegon entered the contest with an 11-game win streak on the line while the Eagles came into the matchup with a 9-2 overall record and a 7-0 conference record in the Oakland Activities Association-Red.

Unfortunately for the Big Reds, the Eagles came through with a 57-46 win. 

Muskegon held the lead the entire first half with the Eagles controlling the entire second half.

The Big Reds got out to a 15-9 lead after one quarter of play. Anthony Sydnor III led the way with six points in the first eight minutes.

With the score 15-13 in the second stanza, the Big Reds went on a 6-0 run, with Ethan Hill hitting two free throws and Stanley Cunningham hitting two shots and Muskegon had their largest lead of the evening at 21-13 with 5:20 remaining in the half.

Ferndale went on a 8-1 spurt to end the half and closed the Muskegon lead to 22-21 at the halftime break. Treyvon Lewis, a 6’5” senior hit for seven of those points for the Eagles, as Ferndale outscored the Big Reds 10-7 in the quarter.

The third quarter saw the Eagles double up on Muskegon 18-9 as they hit three 3-point shots and took a 39-31 lead into the fourth quarter.

Ferndale opened the final quarter up with a 10-4 run, canning two 3-pointers and two 2-point field goals. They extended their lead to 49-35 with 5:06 remaining.

The Eagles went on to outscore the Big Reds 18-15 in the final eight minutes.

“I think we didn’t match their intensity in the second, third or fourth quarters,” said Muskegon head coach Keith Guy.

“This is a learning experience for us. I’m proud of our guys and we’ll get better because of it,” Guy said.

“I didn’t think we were patient enough and I didn’t think we were disciplined enough offensively. I love my team. I think we have a good chance to do something special,” said the veteran head coach.

Leading the Big Reds on offense was junior Anthony Sydnor III with a team high 17 points. Junior Ja’Den Walker tossed in nine points and senior Ethan Hill chipped in with eight points.

Lewis led Ferndale with 16 points and Jason Drake Jr. tossed in 15 points.

Muskegon saw its overall record drop to 11-1 and they remain atop of the OK Conference-Green with a perfect 8-0 record. The Big Reds will host Grand Rapids Union on Tuesday evening, February 8.

Muskegon junior Anthony Syndor III goes up for two of his team high 17 points on Saturday evening against Ferndale (Photo/Jake Szetela)