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West Michigan Conference boys district basketball 2024: Roundup of semifinals

Fremont, Ludington, and North Muskegon will play in district finals games Friday night.

Fremont defeated Sparta, 47-44, in a Division 2 boys district basketball semifinal Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Fremont High School in Fremont, Mich. (Photo by Mia Milner for CatchMark)

Nine West Michigan Conference boys basketball teams played in MHSAA district semifinal games on Wednesday.

Here is a roundup of the action from Feb. 28, 2024:


SPRING LAKE 73, WHITEHALL 61 (OT): Free-throw shooting and team defense led the way for Spring Lake as the Lakers knocked off second-ranked, unbeaten Whitehall. Spring Lake shot 27-for-31 as a team from the foul line.

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FRUITPORT 53, OAKRIDGE 49: Playing its best all at the right time, Fruitport won its second tight district game in three days by edging Oakridge in the semifinals with a balanced effort. Oakridge finishes the season with 15 wins.

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FREMONT 47, SPARTA 44: District host Fremont (10-14) pulled out a hard-fought victory over a 15-win Sparta squad in the semifinals and advances to Friday’s final against former CSAA rival Newaygo (16-8).

“It seems like every time Sparta and Fremont play, it ends up being a great game and tonight was no exception,” Fremont coach Adam Bowen said. “I thought both teams played extremely hard the whole game and it was a great back and forth contest.”

Sparta led 14-13 after one quarter, then Fremont responded for a 24-21 halftime edge.

The Spartans surged back in front, 40-33, entering the fourth quarter before the Packers responded in crunch time.

“We challenged our kids to give everything they had left in the fourth quarter and that’s exactly what they did,” Bowen said. “We outscored Sparta by 10 and held them to only four points in the final period. 

“Sparta is a very good team and always a class act. We have a lot of respect for them and their coaching staff. I am so proud of how our kids battled and fought. We stuck together as a team and got our biggest win of the season.”

Chaz Miller led Fremont with 14 points, eight assists, and three steals. Kyler DeKuiper played his best game of the season, according to Bowen, with nine points, seven rebounds, and one steal. Will DeBlake scored eight points for the Packers, Ben Mellema had seven points and five rebounds, and Gavin Richards chipped in six points and six rebounds.

OK Silver runner-up Sparta closes with a 15-8 record.

Photos by Mia Milner for CatchMark



LUDINGTON 67, MANISTEE 38: Ludington defeated neighboring rival Manistee for the third time this season behind a balanced effort. Ludington (17-6) will face Reed City (19-4) in Friday’s district final.

“Ludington jumped out to a 16-3 first-quarter lead,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “The Orioles were sparked by Gage Jones’ three first-quarter 3-pointers. The Orioles opened things up after the half, scoring 43 points in the second half.

“David Shillinger scored 16 in the second (half) and Spencer Holmes scored all 12 of his points in the second (half).”

Shillinger finished with 20 points to pace the Orioles, while Jones had 15, Holmes 12, and Cameron Gunsell with a dozen.

Jacob Scharp scored 11 points to pace Manistee, which closes the season with an 11-13 record.

In this file photo, 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)

REED CITY 57, HART 42: Hart got off to a great start against 19-win Reed City, leading 12-6 after the first quarter and 22-14 at halftime before the Coyotes rallied with 43 second-half points.

“After holding the Coyotes to 14 total points in the first half, (the Pirates) surrendered 24 points in the third quarter alone. And then another 19 in the fourth quarter,” Hart coach Nick Bronsema said.

“Sick with the stomach flu the night before and despite receiving a great deal of attention on the defensive end, Hart senior Blake Weirich was still able to lead the team with 14 points, efficiently scoring on all of his attempts.”

Caleb Ackley posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds for Hart, which finishes the season with a 13-11 record. Kaden Bond had three assists for the Pirates.

“It was a great opportunity to compete with a great team,” Bronsema said. “And the boys from Hart made their community proud with their effort, attitude, and willingness to be a great teammate.”

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)



NORTH MUSKEGON 65, SHELBY 29: After a tight matchup in the first quarter, with North Muskegon holding a 15-14 edge, the Norsemen pulled away with a 19-7 second quarter, 14-3 third quarter, and 17-5 fourth quarter.

Fifth-ranked North Muskegon (23-0) faces White Cloud (17-6) in Friday’s district final. North Muskegon defeated White Cloud, 57-38, on Feb. 12 at North Muskegon.

“A good battle in the first quarter,” North Muskegon coach Chuck Rypstra said about the district semifinal against Shelby. “They hurt us on offensive boards, and ran some nice sets against our zone. We were able to get more stops throughout the rest of the game to get the win.”

Jaxon Lisinski paced the balanced Norsemen with 18 points, four steals, and four assists. Adam Dugener scored 17 points for the Norse, while Lamarkis Graham had 12 points and three assists.

Phillip Hayes had 13 points, six rebounds, and two assists for Shelby, which closes its season with a 5-19 record. Wyatt Dickman finished with six points, five rebounds, and two assists for the Tigers, while Treyjin Waller and Eli Kelley added five points apiece.

“Our guys came out prepared and executed really well in the first quarter,” Shelby coach Rick Zoulek said. “North Muskegon’s strength and quickness started to wear us down in the second as we only scored seven points to their 19. 

“They are a solid all-around team with good shooters and good defensive quickness. Proud of how these guys improved. We just couldn’t seem to put four good quarters together. Group of nice seniors will be missed.”

In this file photo, North Muskegon’s boys basketball team ran its record to 19-0 with a 57-38 nonleague victory over a 15-win White Cloud squad Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in North Muskegon, Mich. (Photo by CJ Bennett for CatchMark)

WHITE CLOUD 53, RAVENNA 50: Ravenna saw a 10-point fourth-quarter lead vanish in a district semifinal matchup against White Cloud.

No stats or details were submitted for Ravenna, which finished the season with a 13-11 record.

Noah Robinson scored a game-high 22 points for White Cloud, while KJ Strait and Jared Watson had 10 points each.

White Cloud’s Noah Robinson is pictured during a CatchMark SportsNet media day for the Indians’ football team in the fall. (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)


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

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