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With college talent on floor, senior duo leads Reeths-Puffer past Coopersville in Holiday Classic

Travis Ambrose and Jaxson Whitaker combine for 47 points in Rockets’ 66-61 victory.

MUSKEGON — Travis Ambrose may look a little less like a grown man after his mother urged him to shave his mustache for senior pictures.

The Reeths-Puffer senior sure did play like one, however, in a 66-61 victory over unbeaten Coopersville in the 21st annual Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Holiday Classic Wednesday at Dan Beckeman Arena.

Ambrose, a 6-foot-7, 250-pounder who recently signed as a tight end with Central Michigan University, finished with 26 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocks. He was one of two Division I football signees on the floor, locking horns at times with Coopersville senior Gabe VanSickle (6-5, 283), who is taking his talents to Ohio State University.

The other half of Reeths-Puffer’s dynamite one-two punch, senior sharpshooter Jaxson Whitaker, fought off a charley horse in his hamstring and finished with 21 points. The Ferris State University basketball signee made three 3-pointers to go with six rebounds and two assists.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

Here are more details and notables from the game:

  • Reeths-Puffer sophomore Marvin Moore got the Rockets off to a quick start, as he scored all nine of his points in the first quarter. R-P led 18-13 after the opening frame.
  • Reeths-Puffer senior Antrel Jones, the starting quarterback for the Rockets’ football team, added six points, four steals, and three steals to provide a lift.
  • R-P extended its lead to 29-21 by halftime and stretched it even further to 56-42 through three quarters.
  • Coopersville got back in the game in the fourth quarter. The Broncos were within one inside the final minute. Whitaker, Ambrose, and Jones each went 2-for-2 at the free-throw line in crunch time to help R-P preserve the victory.
  • Three players reached double figures for Coopersville: Porter Kretschman totaled 18 points, including a trio of treys; Eli Spencer had 17, also with three 3s; and VanSickle scored 11.
  • Reeths-Puffer improved to 5-1 overall with the victory. Coopersville is now 6-1 overall.
  • Wednesday’s game was a rematch of an overtime thriller in last year’s Division 1 district semifinals, won 59-55 by Reeths-Puffer.
  • Next up for Reeths-Puffer is a nonleague game at Jenison, set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday (Jan. 2). Coopersville returns to action on Friday (Jan. 5) when it opens OK Blue Conference play at home against Holland Christian.


See photos, hype video, podcast from Reeths-Puffer’s media day at CatchMark

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