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Balanced North Muskegon basketball team pushed by Ravenna but stays unbeaten

Division 3 ninth-ranked Norsemen move to 11-0 overall and 7-0 in the WMC Rivers Division.

RAVENNA — As North Muskegon’s boys basketball team put the finishing touches on a hard-fought 60-51 victory over host Ravenna Friday night, the Norse student section went to ol’ reliable in its playbook.

“Just like foot-ball!” Clap, clap … clap, clap, clap.

North Muskegon’s unbeaten basketball squad is indeed feeling some carry-over from football season. In the fall, the Norsemen made history by winning their first 12 football games, climbing to the No. 1 ranking in Division 7, collecting the West Michigan Conference Rivers Division title, seizing district and regional trophies, and advancing to the state semifinals.

Rivals North Muskegon and Ravenna have had their share of battles on the football field and basketball court. On Oct. 6 at Ravenna’s rain-soaked Citizens Field, North Muskegon pulled out an 18-7 football win.

With the basketball win Friday, Division 3 ninth-ranked North Muskegon remained perfect on the season at 11-0 overall and 7-0 in the WMC Rivers. The balanced, athletic Norsemen utilized their big-game experience, which served them so well on the gridiron.

Sophomore Adam Dugener paced North Muskegon with 19 points and three assists, while senior Lamarkis Graham posted 18 points and five steals and junior TJ Byard had 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists.

North Muskegon sophomore Adam Dugener poses for a portrait after his team’s 60-51 victory over Ravenna in West Michigan Conference Rivers Division boys basketball Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, in Ravenna, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

North Muskegon senior Jaxon Lisinski added six points and three steals, while junior James Young dished seven assists.

Ravenna senior Carter Schullo matched Dugener with a co-game-high 19 points with the help of three 3-pointers. Sophomore Dylan May scored 11 for the Bulldogs (7-4, 4-3) and senior Wyatt Young powered in 10.

North Muskegon jumped on Ravenna in the first quarter on the strength of good ball movement and hot 3-point shooting, but the ‘Dogs scrapped their way back within 17-11. The Norsemen surged again in the second quarter in building a 39-26 halftime lead.

Ravenna used a 13-3 third-quarter run, capped by May’s 3 from the corner, to pull within 42-36. The Bulldogs crept within a point in the fourth quarter before the Norse clamped down on defense, leading to a couple run-outs that effectively sealed the outcome.

North Muskegon’s win Friday completed the regular-season sweep over rival Ravenna. The Norsemen defeated the Bulldogs, 62-47, on Dec. 1 at North Muskegon.

North Muskegon and Ravenna could see each other again in the Division 3 district hosted by Hesperia.

Watch the video at the top of the story for highlights of Friday’s North Muskegon-Ravenna game and to hear from players and coaches.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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