By Craig Beilfuss

MUSKEGON—The Holton Red Devils advanced to the Division 4, district final game on Friday evening with a Wednesday evening, hard fought win over the Hart Pirates 54-45, in a game played at Western Michigan high school.

Holton held a slim 10-9 lead after the first period of action. The Pirates managed to take the lead by halftime 20-19, outscoring the Red Devils 11-9 in the second stanza.

Wyatt Dean connected on three 3-pointers for Hart and Brant Carter hit four long range distance shots to lead their respective teams offensively in the first half.

Holton hit the first shot of the third quarter to take a 21-20 lead before the Pirates went on an 8-0 run to take their largest lead of the night at 28-21. Dean and Caleb Bitely each hit 3-point shots and Kohen Porter hit a basket.

The Red Devils countered with a 14-5 run to end the quarter and held a slim 35-33 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Holton opened the final period on an 8-0 spurt, on two 3-point shots by Autsin Fowler and a bucket from Wyatt Monette and were in command with a ten point lead at 43-33.

The Red Devils hit 9-of-12 free throws down the stretch to secure the nine point win.

It was a very tough district basketball game, Holton coach Keith Swanson said. “I was happy with our guys’ adjustments later in the game which helped lean in our way tonight.”

Fowler and Brant led the Holton offense each scoring a game high 16 points, while Monette contributed 15 points. Fowler also had four rebounds, while Brant dished out four assists and Monette grabbed six rebounds and had three steals.

Credit to Holton, they knocked down shots and made their free throws in the fourth quarter to close out the win,” said Hart coach Adam Jerry.

Hart shot 10-of-14 from the free throw line, had nine assists, to go with 14 field goals and made seven 3-pointers.

Leading the Pirates offensively was Wyatt Dean with 15 points, connecting on five 3-point shots. “Wyatt did a great job stepping up as a scorer in the second half of the season,” Jerry said.

Caleb Bitely added seven points. Tony Ramo led Hart with five rebounds and Blake Weirich had three assists.

Holton (15-6) will take on North Muskegon (14-8) on Friday evening for the district title at Western Michigan high school. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Hart finishes the season with a 7-15 record. Seniors playing in their last game were Kody Charron, Kory Charron, Kohen Porter, Jake VanderWilk, Logan Purdy and Ben Lipps.

Photo’s below are courtesy of Leo Valdez/Local Sports Journal Photographer

Holton boy’s coach Keith Swanson (center)

Hart boy’s basketball coach Adam Jerry