The Tigers withstood Gobles for an incredible, 43-41 win in Thursday night’s Division 4 regional final at Martin.
The narrow win came from Aniea Johnson’s solid 6 of 7 free-throw shooting and 11 points in the fourth quarter and a key steal by Ty’Veonna Davis that led to a 3-point play.
“They sure are happy, but they don’t realize what they have done,” said Muskegon Heights Coach Tyrie Johnson about his team’s shocking win. “I told them, we played all the tough teams like Ludington and WMC to prepare you for the tourneys.”
The Tigers’ win did not come easy as they were only able to manage two points in the first quarter. But their defense made up for what they weren’t able to do offensively.
Muskegon Heights only trailed 6-2 after the first eight minutes and bounced back in the second quarter to take a 14-13 lead into half.
“I was happy with the way we played in those first eight minutes,” said Johnson. “We were only down four and I told them to keep playing defense and let the game come to you.”
Ty’Venona Davis stepped up for Muskegon Heights in the second quarter, getting seven of her team’s 12 total points.
The Tigers came out of halftime with more offense as five players scored in the third quarter, taking a 29-25 lead into the fourth.
Johnson came through down the stretch at the free-throw line, but the Tigers put the win in jeopardy in the final 90 seconds of the contest with a costly technical foul.
Gobles capitalized and cut the Tigers’ lead to 40-37.
Davis helped her team rebound from the technical foul with a steal and got fouled on the fast break for a 3-point play.
“For them to experience Tiger basketball, that’s what I wanted for them,” said Coach Johnson about his team and Muskegon Heights basketball tradition. “They don’t know the history, but the community does and I look forward to what can happen from this.”
Muskegon Heights was led by Aniea Johnson with 19 points and four assists while Davis had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Tennisha Nolen played a huge side role for the Tigers, getting 18 rebounds, six assists and two points. Arielle Trammell and J’Myia Stewart both finished with four points apeice.
The Tigers are now 10-8 overall and next play in the quarter finals at Gull Lake High School on Tuesday against Adrian Lenawee Christian at 7 p.m.