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West Michigan Conference boys basketball: Roundup from Jan. 25, 2024

Whitehall, North Muskegon continue their respective unbeaten runs.

A handful of boys basketball games were played by West Michigan Conference teams Thursday night.

Below is a roundup of the action from Jan. 25, 2024:


WHITEHALL 66, NEWAYGO 47: Visiting Whitehall put on a dunk show and stayed unbeaten on the season at 14-0 with a nonleague victory over Newaygo.

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LUDINGTON 100, TRAVERSE CITY CENTRAL 74: In what resembled an NBA game, host Ludington and visiting Traverse City Central put on an exhibition of long-range shooting in this nonleague matchup.

“It was a track meet at Hawley Gymnasium. There were 21 3-point field goals made. Ludington knocked down 11 and TC Central made 10,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said.

“Spencer Holmes got things started by scoring 11 points in the first quarter by knocking down three 3-pointers. David Shillinger exploded for 18 points in the third quarter as Ludington outscored TC Central 32-16 to pull away.”

Ludington leaders:

David Shilinger 33 points

Spencer Holmes 18 points

Cameron Gunsell 14 points

Traverse City Central leaders:

Brendan Slack 28 points

Owen Ribel 20 points


Ludington 8-4 overall

Traverse City Central 2-11 overall

Ludington senior David Shillinger poses for a portrait on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, in Montague, Mich. Shillinger scored a game-high 34 points in a 65-53 victory over Montague and broke the Orioles’ all-time boys scoring record by reaching 1,339 points and counting to pass Mike Larsen (1,336). (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)



MASON COUNTY CENTRAL 46, SHELBY 27: Host Mason County Central applied pressure from the get-go and led 6-2 following one quarter and 20-13 at halftime. The Spartans used a 17-9 third-quarter run to all but put it away.

“We came out with the intention of putting pressure on Shelby’s guards with the hope that we would eventually wear them down. For the most part, it worked,” MCC coach Chris VanderHaag said. “To Shelby’s credit, they came out and shut down our offense in the first(quarter). They really crash the boards. A very physical team that is well-coached. It was a great effort for both teams. Our defense was an all-out team effort. The kids really got after it tonight, which is where we need to be.”

“Shelby struggled with the pace of the game all night,” said Shelby coach Rick Zoulek, whose team had 28 turnovers, allowing MCC to get 22 more shot attempts than his team. “We’re going to shake some things up this next week. Really pleased with our defense in the first half as we only allowed 20 points, and six of those were in the last minute of the half on a couple long 3-point shots. So it was 14-13 with a minute to go in the first half. We need to do more than just play ‘hard.’ We need to play smarter and still keep the intensity. Our focus and execution must improve.”

MCC leaders:

Cole VanderHaag 16 points, 2 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists

Jaxon Munoz 4 points, 4 assists, 3 steals

Eathen Huffman 4 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals

Latrell Williams 5 rebounds

Shelby leaders:

Wyatt Dickman 7 points, 6 rebounds

Phillip Hayes 5 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks

Lalo Garcia 8 rebounds


Mason County Central 7-8 (4-3 WMC Rivers)

Shelby 2-10 (1-5 WMC Rivers)

Mason County Central sophomore Cole VanderHaag (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)



NORTH MUSKEGON 53, FREMONT 39: Host North Muskegon shook off a slow start, falling into a 15-4 first-quarter deficit, and rallied for the victory in keeping its perfect record intact. The Norsemen outscored the Packers in the second quarter, 16-2.

“We got off to a slow start, but credit Fremont as they began the game hot and got us to rush a bit. We settled down and got a few shots to drop and played good defense throughout and that allowed us to get the win,” North Muskegon coach Chuck Rypstra said. “We were up three at half and the game would stretch to 10, then come back to four, then 10 again. We finally were able to pull away late.”

“North Muskegon is state ranked and undefeated, but we played them very tough,” Fremont coach Adam Bowen said. “I thought we came out with great energy and were able to build a lead in the first quarter, but we struggled offensively in the second quarter and were down three points at halftime. We fought hard in the second half and kept the game close, but North Muskegon was able to pull away late in the fourth quarter. We can take a lot of positives from this game against a very good team, but we know there are no moral victories, and we need to execute better offensively if we are going to beat quality opponents.”

North Muskegon leaders:

Lamarkis Graham 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals

Adam Dugener 13 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals

Jaxon Lisinski 11 points, 3 assists

James Young 9 points, 7 rebounds

TJ Byard 5 rebounds, 3 steals

Fremont leaders:

Chaz Miller 13 points, 6 rebounds

Ben Mellema 13 points, 4 rebounds

Gavin Richards 6 points, 10 rebounds


North Muskegon 13-0 overall

Fremont 7-8 overall

North Muskegon senior Lamarkis Graham poses for a portrait on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, after a game in Ravenna, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)


HART 71, MANISTEE 60: Host Hart earned a fourth-straight win with a strong third quarter, when the Pirates broke open a two-point halftime lead with a 20-11 run.

“In the second half it was a combination of pressure defense, and smart, unselfish play on offense,” Hart coach Nick Bronsema said. 

Hart leaders:

Blake Weirich 26 points (4 3-pointers), 9 rebounds

Caleb Ackley 18 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals

Brendan Hiddema 11 points, 6 rebounds

Kaden Bond 9 points, 4 assists

Manistee leaders:

No stats or details submitted


Hart 7-7 overall

Manistee 6-8 overall

In this file photo, Hart’s Blake Weirich poses for a portrait during CatchMark SportsNet Boys Basketball Media Day on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, at CatchMark Technologies in Whitehall, Mich. (Kara Raeth | CatchMark)

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

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