MUSKEGON–The North Muskegon Norsemen picked up a win over cross-town rival Oakridge on Monday evening by escaping with a 43-40 win over the Eagles.

“The game started out like both teams were going to score a ton, but the defenses settled in and it became a grind to score, especially in the third quarter,” said North Muskegon coach Charles Rypstra. 

Oakridge raced out to a 18-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. North Muskegon outscored Oakridge 18-7 in the second quarter and took a 31-25 lead at the half.

“We were trying a different defense to start the game and Oakridge pretty much made us get out of it almost immediately as they scored at will early in the game,” Rypstra said. “We did get some stops and played well offensively during the second quarter.”

Points were hard to come by during the third period which saw Oakridge outscore North Muskegon 4-2 to close the North Muskegon lead to 33-29 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Eagles once again held the upper hand in the final eight minutes, 11-10, but the Norse held on for the win.

“We would defend really well, but (Peyton) Ruel would hit a long one, or they would get a timely put back,” Rypstra said. “We did just enough down the stretch to hang on for the hard-fought victory.”
Troy McManus and Lamarkis Graham led North Muskegon with 10 points and six rebounds each. McManus dished out four assists. Denny Belmonte contributed nine points for the Norse.
Ruel led Oakridge with a game-high 16 points, including four baskets from beyond the arc. Ryan Cribbins tossed in nine points.
North Muskegon (11-2, 4-2) will travel to Mason County Central on Friday.
Oakridge (4-9, 2-4) will host Manistee on Friday.