By Craig Beilfuss
MUSKEGON—The Muskegon Big Reds used a huge first-quarter scoring run and never looked back in defeating the Coopersville Broncos to claim the Division 1 district title on Friday evening. Muskegon won, 69-43, in a game played at Muskegon High School.
Muskegon had a balanced scoring attack with junior David Day III, who led the way with a game high 16 points. Senior Ethan Hill, at 6-8. was close behind with 15 points and junior Jordan Briggs finished with 10 points.
The Big Reds connected on 15-of-19 free throws and hit six 3-point shots.
After Muskegon scored the first two points of the game, Coopersville responded with a 3-pointer. It was the only lead that Coopersville had during the contest.
Six Big Reds found the scoring column during the first eight minutes of action as Muskegon raced out to a 19-7 first-quarter lead.
Day III took over in the second quarter for Muskegon, hitting on three 3-point shots and scoring 11 points and the Big Reds extended their lead to 34-20 at the half.
“He was big, he played great,” said Muskegon coach Keith Guy about Day III. “He caught fire, shot some big ones. He was all over the place.”
Muskegon increased the lead to 51-34 by the end of three quarters. The Big Reds scored the first 11 points of the quarter with Briggs hitting for eight points and the Big Reds racking up a 17-14 scoring advantage.
The Big Reds hit 9-of-10 from the charity stripe in the final eight minutes and secured the 26-point victory along with the district title.
“Our defense, I thought, it carried us tonight,” said Guy. “The offense was good, but defense wins championships. The guys locked in, carried out the scouting report and we came out on top.”
Isaiah Currie led Coopersville (15-8) with 13 points. Joining him in double figures was Travis Rosel with 12 points. The Broncos were 2-of-8 from the free throw line and connected on seven 3-point shots.
Muskegon improves to 20-2 overall this season and will travel to Grand Haven on Monday evening to take on the Grand Rapids Northview Wildcats in the opening game of semifinal round of regionals. Northview (22-1) won the OK Conference-White championship with a 13-1 record. Northview disposed of Rockford on Friday evening, 71-48, to win a district title.
Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.