Reeths-Puffer’s Quinzell Pannell drives in for a layup while Zeeland West’s Braden Werley (5) and Luke Dreyer try to defend during Friday night’s game. R-P fell to the Dux, 70-61.
MUSKEGON — The Reeths-Puffer Rockets had a chance, but superior size won out Friday night.
Jordan VanDort dominated for Zeeland West, staking the Dux to a lead and helping put things away with offensive putbacks. VanDort tallied 28 points overall and the Rockets fell just short in a 70-61 nonconference loss.
“We watched him play a couple of times and no one can stop him,” R-P coach David Ingles said. “You need a truck to move him out of there. He’s a good player.”
R-P whittled the Zeeland West lead down to two when Kevin Polk canned a three-pointer with 2:03 left in the game. The score was 62-60 and the Rockets appeared on the verge of storming back for a win.
However, the Dux responded with a bucket and a few moments later, VanDort notched another key putback to all but salt things away at 66-60.
It says a lot about VanDort that Ingles felt his team did a great job on him despite the 28 points and innumerable offensive boards he managed.
“I don’t know how you stop (VanDort), unless you have the size to match it,” Ingles said. “They’re a hard guard and I thought we did a fantastic job.”
In the end, though Ingles was bothered by small mistakes like the two turnovers on inbounds passes that resulted in quick Zeeland West scores, the Rockets impressed him by the way they bounced back from a lethargic effort against Grandville earlier this week.
“I felt terrible after the game earlier this week because I didn’t think we competed very hard,” Ingles said. “Tonight, I thought we fought our rear ends off.”
R-P boasted a balanced scoring attack Fridy night, putting four players into double figures. Andrew Reinecke led the charge with 18 points. Marquese Livers added 12 and DeDe Blake and Polk each scored 10.
“We ran our offensive sets great,” Ingles said. “We got basket attacks, we actually got through some motion stuff which we haven’t been able to do. After tonight, I think we are close to where we need to be.”
The Rockets will have to be at their best next week as they open O-K Black Conference play with Zeeland East, which is 9-1 and just suffered its first loss this week against East Kentwood. Ingles views the Chix and Muskegon as R-P’s chief competition for an O-K Black title.
Reeths-Puffer is focused on that goal, but perhaps not as much as they are on the goal of just getting better.
“We don’t have to be great right now,” Ingles said. “If we can be good by the middle (of the season) and great by the end, I’ll be happy.”
Vikes hold off
NORTH MUSKEGON — Whitehall picked up its second straight West Michigan Conference win Friday night in a nail-biter, edging North Muskegon 49-47 on the road.
The Vikings improve to 3-5 with the win, 3-3 in WMC play.
The matchup was close throughout. Neither team led by more than three at the end of any of the four quarters.
Matt Russell had a sterling performance for the Vikings, securing a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Frank Owens added 12 points and Isaac Love had 10 including a perfect four of four from the free-throw line.
The Vikes overcame 15 points from Sam Powell and 13 from Zack Rummery en route to the win.
MCC by 20
SCOTTVILLE — The Montague Wildcats seem to be hitting their stride.
Montague dominated the first three quarters Friday night, building an insurmountable lead to cruise by Mason County Central, 71-51.
Montague (7-1, 5-1 West Michigan Conference) raced out to a 15-2 lead and never looked back in securing its fifth straight win.
Chase Casebolt poured in 24 points for the Wildcats, making three shots from distance, and had 10 rebounds for a double-double. Luke VanBoxel added 17, also dishing out four assists without turning the ball over.
“Luke was aggressive all night which gave him and others many good opportunities,” Montague coach David Osborne said.
Brandon Moore scored 10 points and had four assists and eight rebounds.
The Wildcats outgunned MCC in the second quarter with offense, piling up 23 points in that frame to go into the locker room ahead 42-27. Then, in the third quarter, the Wildcats turned up the heat on defense, holding the Spartans to six points and extending their own lead to 24.
MCC outscored Montague in the final quarter, but the Wildcats had done their job.
The Wildcats take a break from conference play Monday with a home game against Fremont before hosting rival Whitehall on Thursday night.
MUSKEGON — Reeths-Puffer fell Wednesday night in a nonconference home game, as the Grandville Bulldogs dominated the first and fourth quarters to beat the Rockets 59-47.
R-P fell to 3-3 with the loss.
The Rockets struggled mightily from the field, shooting 29 percent. R-P also made only 17 of its 32 free-throw attempts.
“It’s hard to win shooting like that,” Rockets’ coach David Ingles said. “We were also a step slow on defense which compounded our problems.”
Marquese Livers posted a double-double, scoring 17 points and 13 boards. Andy Reinecke added 11 points and four steals.
Joey Lanning poured in 27 points for Grandville to lead all scorers.
RAVENNA — Whitehall stumbled into the holiday break with a 1-5 record, but the Vikings started the year 2013 on a much better note Tuesday night.
The Vikings were dominant on both ends, racing to a big halftime lead en route to a 70-49 West Michigan Conference victory over Ravenna.
Whitehall outscored Ravenna 17-3 in the second quarter to take a 33-14 advantage into the locker room.
Defense paved the way for Whitehall, which forced 32 turnovers, creating scoring opportunities. Each member of the varsity team scored in the game.
“We shared the ball well,” Whitehall coach Nate Aardema said. “It was good to have everyone score.”
Dylan Medendorp was the top scorer in the game, piling up 18 points. Medendorp also tallied eight boards and five steals in the contest.
Isaac Love scored 10 points and Jevontae Sims added seven, as Whitehall put forth an extremely balanced effort on offense.
Jacob Sied led Ravenna with 17 points, while Joe McKenna and Alex White each scored 10.
WHITEHALL (70) DeCouto 2 0-0 4, Vance 1 2-2 4, Johnson 3 0-0 6, Flowers 1 0-0 3, Medendorp 8 0-0 18, Sutton 2 0-0 4, Owens 1 1-3 3, Rohen 2 0-0 5, Russell 1 2-2 4, Love 5 0-0 10, Sims 3 0-0 7, VanLoon 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 5-7 70.
RAVENNA (49) Kantola 1 4-8 6, Patterson 0 3-4 3, Sied 6 2-4 17, McKenna 2 5-8 10, Sanford 1 1-2 3, White 2 6-7 10. Totals 12 21-33 49.
Whitehall....16 17 20 17 — 70
Ravenna......11 3 15 20 — 49
Three-point goals — Flowers 1, Medendorp 2, Rohen 1, Sims 1, Sied 3, McKenna 1. Total fouls — Whitehall 23, Ravenna 14. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.
MUSKEGON — Four players hit double digits in scoring as the Montague Wildcats pounded Oakridge Tuesday night, 65-46.
Chase Casebolt led the way for the Wildcats, scoring 20 points, including three three-pointers. Brandon Moore scored 13 points and Brandon Stine and James Boerema each posted 10.
Boerema also had a team-leading 15 rebounds, with Casebolt adding eight.
“Jim was huge on the boards in this game,” Montague coach David Osborne said of Boerema.
The second quarter was pivotal for Montague, as the Wildcats outscored the Eagles 15-5 in that frame, extending their lead to 13 at the halftime break. Montague continued to pile on the points in the second half.
Montague also spread the ball around, with five players notching two assists each. Casebolt and Boerema each blocked two shots.
Luke VanBoxel contributed nine points for Montague.