MONTAGUE — Surviving a slow start, the Montague boys basketball team finished strong in topping North Muskegon, 48-40 at home Tuesday night in the West Michigan Conference.

After trailing by seven, 16-9 at the end of the first quarter, the Wildcats began their push to overtake the Norsemen, using a 13-6 advantage in the second period to climb into a 22-22 tie at the half.

The Wildcats kept up the momentum in the second half, outscoring the Norsemen, 11-5 in the third period to surge into a 33-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Montague had a 15-13 edge in the final stanza.

“We got off to a good start, but it just wasn’t our night from a shooting stand-point,” said North Muskegon head coach Chuck Rypstra.

“Montague made a decisive run in the third quarter, and we kept working but couldn’t get the ball through the hoop enough times.”

Tate Stine paced the Wildcats with a game-high 16 points and Isaiah Atchison added 13. Owen Raeth added seven points.

Colton Blankstrom pulled down nine rebounds and Stine grabbed eight. Stine also dished out five assists and Rodney Brassfield three. Stine picked off five steals and Raeth had four.

“We were much more aggressive in the second half, and did a better job of finishing the game,” Montague coach David Osborne said.

“I am glad we came out of the locker room at halftime with a much improved effort.”

Leading the way for the Norsemen was Troy McManus wtih 14 points and three assists. Jason Bogue chipped in with six points and 11 rebounds.

Montague improved its record to 10-5 overall and 6-5 in the conference. The Wildcats are next scheduled to take the court Friday night for a conference game at Shelby in the conference.

North Muskegon suffered its third straight loss and fell to 9-7 overall and 6-5 in the conference. The Norsemen are next scheduled to see action at Hart on Friday night in the WMC.