NORTH MUSKEGON — The host North Muskegon Norsemen raced out to a first-quarter lead and carried that to a 49-34 victory over the Montague Wildcats.

North Muskegon led 16-9 after the pivotal first quarter and 28-20 at the half.

The final three quarters were played evenly, but that early lead was enough for North Muskegon (6-2, 2-2) to earn the victory.

Troy McManus led the Norsemen with 20 points, five rebounds and three assists. James Young added nine points and eight rebounds. Sam Gallo chipped in eight rebounds and three steals.

“Neither team shot it exceptionally well, thus the lower score,” NM coach Chuck Rypstra said. “If you like defense and toughness then this was a game for you.  The third quarter saw Montague claw back in to make it a four-point game, but we hit a few and the lead was back to 10”.

Owen Paeth scored 10 points to league Montague (4-5). Isaiah Atchison had seven points and eight rebounds. Kade Johnson had four assists.

“Shots were not falling tonight, credit to NM defense,” Montague coach Dave Osborne said. “I’m looking forward to next game.”

North Muskegon (6-2, 2-2) hosts Potters House on Monday.

Montague (4-5, 2-2) travels to Manistee on Tuesday.