LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON — Muskegon Catholic Central had upset on its mind for Senior Night at home against rival Western Michigan Christian on Friday, but the outside shooting of Jared Olsen sparked the Warriors to a narrow victory.

Olsen connected on six 3-pointers and finished with 19 points, leading WMC to a 41-38 win.

MCC had a chance to tie the contest in the closing seconds, but a quality look in the paint rolled around and off the rim and WMC controlled the rebound. WMC sank 1-of-2 free throws to provide the final margin of victory.

“Going to MCC for a rivalry game is always difficult,” said WMC head coach Kurt Gruppen.

“MCC had a great game plan and executed it very well. I was proud of the way that we were able to stick together through adversity and make enough plays to win. Our team showed a lot of character and resolve tonight and that will be needed as we enter the last week of the regular season and move into tournament play.”

MCC limited WMC offensively by playing a box-and-1 defense, which was executed by the hustle of guard Brian Convertini, according to head coach Rob Recknagel.

“Our defense was outstanding tonight,” Recknagel said. “We knew the game would be a game played at our pace and we would make them grind it out. We just needed to make one more big play on either end and the outcome could’ve been different.”

The teams were tied at 14 at the half, and WMC took a 25-23 lead into the fourth.

Joe Waller contributed eight points and eight rebounds for WMC.

Jaden Johnson was 7-of-7 from the floor and scored 17 points for MCC, while Tramel Caviness chipped in eight rebounds and four assists.

WMC improves to 6-11 on the season and 6-3 in the Lakes 8 Activities Conference. The Warriors will travel to Manistee on Monday, February 28.

MCC will travel to Holton on Tuesday evening, March 1 to take on the Red Devils.

Check out photos from the night shot by Jason Goorman.