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North Muskegon turns back White Cloud to stay unbeaten, wins fourth straight district title

Norsemen (24-0) advance to Division 3 regional to face familiar foe Pewamo-Westphalia on the road.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

HESPERIA — North Muskegon’s boys basketball team adopted a “day-by-day” mantra this season.

Consequently, the Norsemen have remained extremely consistent. In the Division 3 state tournament, they live to see another day.

Fifth-ranked North Muskegon remained unbeaten on the season and captured a fourth straight district title with a 54-39 victory over White Cloud Friday night at Hesperia High School.

It was North Muskegon’s second victory over a very solid White Cloud squad in 18 days, as the Norsemen defeated the Indians 57-38 on Feb. 12 in North Muskegon.

It’s the sixth district championship in eight years for the Norsemen (24-0), who advance to Tuesday’s 7 p.m. regional semifinal against host Pewamo-Westphalia (22-2). P-W is a familar foe for North Muskegon, which lost a 49-46 regional semifinal heartbreaker to the Pirates last season.

Pewamo-Westphalia beat Vermontville Maple Valley, 59-42, in the district finals on Friday.

Meanwhile, White Cloud finishes one of its best seasons in several years with a 17-7 record.

“It was a back-and-forth game for the first three quarters. We would extend it a bit and they would come back,” North Muskegon coach Chuck Rypstra said. “In the fourth, we got a little separation and that forced them to extend their defense and we found some holes.”

North Muskegon led White Cloud 13-11 after one quarter, 23-18 at halftime, and 33-27 through three quarters. The game tightened up even more early in the fourth quarter before the Norsemen pulled away down the stretch.

Senior Lamarkis Graham led all scorers with 20 points, five rebounds, and four steals for North Muskegon. From there, it was the typical balance for the Norsemen. Sophomore Adam Dugener had 10 points and three assists, junior James Young eight points and four assists, and junior TJ Byard seven points and three blocks.

For White Cloud, senior Noah Robinson led the way with 12 points, while senior Kevin Straight scored 11 and junior Jayden Robinson nine.

“White Cloud is a great, disciplined team with some great shooters,” Rypstra said. “Kevin Strait was awesome tonight. He was doing everything he could. He never sat out.

“Our guys have been executing really well and we needed everything tonight.”

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

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