Photos by Brent Raeth | CatchMark
Montague’s boys basketball team charged out of the gates to start the 2021-22 season, but the Wildcats have struggled to find their footing after the holiday break.
Meanwhile, North Muskegon seems to be hitting its stride.
North Muskegon notched its second big win of the week, while Montague has dropped two in a row. Friday night, the host Norsemen outlasted the Wildcats in overtime, 53-48, in a West Michigan Conference thriller.
On Tuesday, the Norse (4-3 overall, 2-2 WMC) earned a 56-41 road win over Ravenna. On the same night, the Wildcats (3-2, 2-2) lost at Whitehall, 53-43.
“It was a really good and greatly contested game,” North Muskegon coach Chuck Rypstra said. “There were big runs by both teams and it truly wasn’t decided until about 30 seconds to go.”
In a back-and-forth battle, the Norse trailed the Wildcats 20-18 at the half and continued the chase from behind heading into the fourth quarter.
North Muskegon rallied for a 43-40 lead with about 10 seconds remaining in regulation when Montague’s Tate Stine knocked down a deep 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. The Norsemen jumped back in front early in OT and hung on for the win.
“I was much happier with our energy and effort tonight, but we did not shoot the ball well from the field or the free throw line,” Montague coach Dave Osborne said.
Junior Troy McManus led the Norse with 18 points, while freshman James Young added 10.
Sophomore Owen Raeth paced the Wildcats with 15 points.
“We would go ahead, then they would come back,” Rypstra said. “They ran a good play and got a 3 for Stine to tie it and we got off a couple of chances, but it ended tied (in regulation).
“In overtime, we went ahead but they were always right there. Troy McManus made two to put us up four and we got a knock-away, but we fouled them on the scramble. They made one and then almost knocked it off us out of bounds. We got it in and made two free throws for the final margin.”
North Muskegon leaders:
Troy McManus 18 points, 10 rebounds
James Young 10 points
Champ Young 8 points
Brandon Rypstra 7 points
Owen Raeth 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
Rodney Brassfield 10 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals
Tugg Nichols 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals
Tate Stine 6 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
North Muskegon 4-3 overall, 2-2 WMC
Montague 3-2 overall, 2-2 WMC
Montague at Holton, 7 p.m. Tuesday
Hart at North Muskegon, 7 p.m. Thursday
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