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See video, photos from Zeeland West’s thrilling quarterfinal basketball win over Muskegon

Dux edge Big Reds, 53-52, in dramatic Division 1 matchup before packed-house crowd at Grand Haven.

GRAND HAVEN — Tuesday night’s Muskegon vs. Zeeland West showdown in a Division 1 boys state quarterfinal basketball game defined what a high-stakes high school sports event should look like.

It was an intense but healthy scene on the court and in the stands from both sides, as an overflow crowd in the 3,200-capacity fieldhouse of Grand Haven High School had the place hopping.

Zeeland West made history with a hard-fought, nail-biting 53-52 victory over Muskegon, which has been a benchmark in West Michigan and statewide basketball since rolling to the Class A state title in 2014.

In their memorable state tournament run, the Dux have now won the first district and regional championships in program history.

Next, Zeeland West (20-7) will make its first trip to Michigan State University’s Breslin Center for Friday’s 2 p.m. state semifinal matchup against North Farmington (23-2).

Meanwhile, Muskegon closes another big season with a 23-3 record. Muskegon added to its district and regional trophy collection and shared the OK Green title with Reeths-Puffer, as the Big Reds and Rockets split their league games and both finished 11-1.

Zeeland West was third in the OK Green at 10-4 with all four defeats being in competition fashion against Muskegon and Reeths-Puffer.

In the regular season, Muskegon swept Zeeland West by scores of 52-35 and 53-44. In Tuesday’s quarterfinal, the Dux led 15-11 after one quarter, 31-22 at halftime, and 43-28 through three quarters.

The Big Red erupted for 24 fourth-quarter points, making it anybody’s game down the stretch.

An inside bucket by Zeeland West senior Orion Yant in the closing seconds proved the game-winner. Yant finished with 12 points for the Dux.

Indiana State signee Merrit Alderink, Zeeland West’s senior jack of all trades, led all scorers with 18 points. The 6-foot-7 left-hander assisted on Yant’s winning basket.

Junior Khi Anderson hit two big 3s and finished with 10 points for the Dux, while senior Lukas Bakker added seven points.

For Muskegon, high-flying sophomore James Martin scored a team-high 17 points, seven in the fourth-quarter comeback. Senior Montrel Oliver Jr. and sophomore Arquez Petty added six points apiece for the Big Reds.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

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

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