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Muskegon’s second-half storm vs. Ottawa Hills features ‘Thunder’ and ‘Rain’

James Martin delivers thunderous dunks, Justin Watson rains in pretty perimeter shots in 74-36 Hall of Fame Holiday Classic rout.

MUSKEGON — James Martin and Justin Watson got a chuckle out of a reporter’s ad-lib nicknames for them after they put on a second-half show for Muskegon’s boys basketball team Wednesday night at Reeths-Puffer’s Dan Beckeman Arena.

Martin was “Thunder” for his three thunderous dunks, one of which he went through a defender and brought the house down. Watson was “Rain” for raining in perimeter shots with his sweet, left-handed stroke.

They combined for 30 points in powering Muskegon to a 74-36 runaway victory over Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills in the nightcap of the 21st annual Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Holiday Classic.

Watson, a 6-foot-7 senior, scored a team-high 16 points with three second-half 3-pointers to pace the balanced Big Reds (3-0 overall). Martin, a 6-3 high-flying sophomore, finished with 14 points.

Muskegon’s Keashaun Johnson, a 6-5 forward, exhibited great hustle and also scored 14 points for a Big Reds squad with designs on getting back to the Breslin Center. Muskegon finished as Division 1 state runner-up last season and returned eight players from that team.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

Here are more details and notables from the game:

  • Muskegon led Ottawa Hills 16-10 after one quarter and stretched the margin to 33-19 by halftime. The Big Reds ran away from the Bengals in the second half after coach Keith Guy called out his team for “playing soft” in the first half.
  • Muskegon senior guard M’Khi Guy, who quarterbacked the Big Reds’ football team to the Division 2 state championship last month, scored 10 points.
  • Muskegon’s Terrance Davis, a 6-7 senior, added six points.
  • Muskegon’s Elija Langston-Jones, a 6-7 junior, also scored six points. His dunk over an Ottawa Hills player before the final horn capped a highly entertaining second half for the Big Reds.
  • For Ottawa Hills (2-2 overall), Willie Duke led the way with a game-high 20 points.
  • Craig Hureskin added eight points with a couple of 3s for Ottawa Hills.
  • Next up for Muskegon is the OK Green Conference opener at Holland on Friday, Jan. 5. The next night (Saturday, Jan. 6), the Big Reds host reigning Division 2 state champion Ferndale in the Muskegon Basketball Showcase in the 7 p.m. matchup.

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

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