By Ron Rop

MUSKEGON–The Muskegon Big Reds showed off their speed and tenacity on defense and made quick work of Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills on Wednesday night.

The Big Reds’ 68-37 victory in the Division 1 district semifinal moves Keith Guy’s team into the title game at 7 p.m. Friday against Coopersville, an upset winner over Grand Haven in the opening game of the night.

The game was played at Redmond-Potter gymnasium at Muskegon High School.

While there was some sluggishness in the Big Reds’ game off and on throughout the contest, Coach Guy was overall pleased with his team’s effort, especially in the defensive end.

“I thought we played with more intensity in the second half,” Guy said. “I don’t think we finished well at the rim in the first half. I thought we defended decent, but not the way we are capable.”

Muskegon jumped out to a 14-7 lead after one quarter and built the advantage to 30-17 by halftime.

“We started talking about playing to the standard and not the score,” Guy said. “I thought our guys responded in the second half.”

The Big Reds were able to get into some offensive rhythm in the third quarter and a 23-6 scoring advantage moved the score to 53-23.

From there, the hosts cruised to the victory.

Jordan Briggs led Muskegon with 17 points, including trio of 3-pointers. Anthony Sydnor III added 15

points and 6-8 center Ethan Hill chipped in 14.

“He (Hill) played inspired tonight,” Guy said. “He protected the basket, rebounded well and he switched and guarded some perimeter guys. He gives us an advantage at 6-8 when he can guard multiple positions and still protect the basket.”

Junior Javion Otten led Kenowa Hills with 17 points while sophomore post player Sutton Tutas added 11.

Next up is Coopersville and Guy said his team will be ready.

“Whoever we play, we have to come out and be really good,” Guy said. “Coopersville is a great team and you saw that tonight. They deserve to be there. This is a tough district and we just want to make sure we take care of business.”

Check out photos from the action shot by Craig Smith.