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WMC girls basketball: Whitehall, Montague earn wins to set up next week’s showdown

Hart and Shelby join Vikings and Wildcats in the logjam at the top of the conference.

Whitehall girls basketball coach Derek Westerlund implored his players to look for their shots on offense after a passive first half Thursday night against visiting North Muskegon.

Marissa Strandberg & Co. responded in the Vikings’ 44-30 victory over the Norse in West Michigan Conference action.

Marissa Strandberg of the Whitehall girls basketball team is photographed at the CatchMark Media Day on Nov. 24, 2021, in Whitehall, Mich. (Cody Ottinger | CatchMark)

Strandberg finished with a team-high 14 points and Whitehall (2-2 overall) used a 14-2 third-quarter run to pull away from North Muskegon and improve to 2-0 in league play. The Vikings visit rival Montague next Tuesday.

“I think the biggest thing is, they looked so hesitant in the first half. I’m yelling at my varsity girls to shoot the ball, and to be successful on the offensive end, they’ve got to want to seek their shots out and want to take shots,” Westerlund said.

“For the most part, I thought they did a lot better job in the second half, looking for their shots. It just seemed like our confidence level was a little bit higher – just a little bit more aggressive.”

McKena Coron scored eight points for Whitehall, while Charley Klint played well defensively and finished with seven rebounds and six steals.

Strandberg added four steals.

Josee Cooke powered North Muskegon (1-2, 0-2) with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Allie Jensen added five points.

Westerlund said the Vikings’ offensive makeup is different than last year’s team.

“Last year Greta (Hosticka) and Karleigh (Jeffries) scored (most of) our points. This year, like tonight, anybody can get points so we’ll be a little bit more balanced,” he said. “I still think Charley is going to lead us for sure, but it’s nice to get that confidence going and get those other girls looking for their shots.”

Claire Meacham of the Montague girls basketball team is photographed at the CatchMark Media Day on Nov. 24, 2021, in Whitehall, Mich. (Cody Ottinger | CatchMark)

MONTAGUE 38, MASON COUNTY CENTRAL 35: At Mason County Central, Montague pulled out a hard-fought victory on the strength of its defense.

Montague leaders:

Claire Meacham 18 points, 11 rebounds

Haylee Schwarz 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists

Emma Dyer 5 points, 3 rebounds

Maddie Meacham 3 points, 10 rebounds

Kendall Osborne 2 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds

Mason County Central leaders:

Grace Weinert 13 points, 4 assists

Wren Nelson 10 points, 7 rebounds

Records:

Montague 3-1 (2-0 West Michigan Conference)

Mason County Central 1-2 (0-2 West Michigan Conference)

Next games:

Whitehall at Montague, 7 p.m. Tuesday

Oakridge at Mason County Central, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Jayd Hovey of the Hart girls basketball team is photographed at the CatchMark Media Day on Nov. 24, 2021, in Whitehall, Mich. (Cody Ottinger | CatchMark)

HART 60, RAVENNA 13: At Hart, the host Pirates used 22-2 and 20-1 scoring advantages in the first two quarters to overwhelm Ravenna in a mercy-rule victory.

Hart leaders:

Jayd Hovey 21 points, 4 steals, 2 assists

Mariana VanAgtmael 11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 assists

Addi Hovey 8 points, 6 rebounds

Morgan Marvin 6 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 blocks, 3 assists

Aspen Boutell 5 steals, 4 assists

Ravenna leaders:

No stats submitted

Records:

Hart 3-1 (2-0 West Michigan Conference)

Ravenna 1-3 (0-2 West Michigan Conference)

Next games:

Hart at Shelby, 7 p.m. Tuesday

North Muskegon at Ravenna, 7 p.m. Tuesday

Kendall Zoulek of the Shelby girls basketball team is photographed at the CatchMark Media Day on Nov. 24, 2021, in Whitehall, Mich. (Cody Ottinger | CatchMark)

SHELBY 39, OAKRIDGE 36: At Shelby, the host Tigers used a monster game by senior Kendall Zoulek to overcome a scoreless fourth quarter and pull out the win.

Shelby leaders:

Kendall Zoulek 19 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals

Molli Schultz 10 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals

Lauren Brown 5 points, 4 blocks, 3 rebounds, 2 assists

Ella Olmstead 2 points, 6 rebounds

Oakridge leaders:

Anna Lundquist 12 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 blocks

Jasmine Pastor 8 points, 6 steals, 5 rebounds

Lily Blackburn 7 points, 7 steals, 2 rebounds, 2 assists

Destyni Lane 7 points, 3 rebounds

Records:

Shelby 3-1 (2-0 West Michigan Conference)

Oakridge 1-3 (0-2 West Michigan Conference)

Next games:

Hart at Shelby, 7 p.m. Tuesday

Oakridge at Mason County Central, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

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

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