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Trojans play better, but can't best Muskegon second time around

Duncan MacLean • Feb 8, 2017 at 12:35 AM

MUSKEGON — Even when everything goes right, sometimes the other team is just better.

The Fruitport girls basketball team traveled north to Muskegon High School to take on the Big Reds in O-K Black action on Tuesday, falling to a red hot Muskegon squad, 47-36.

The Big Reds showcased their game plan on their first three possessions, hitting three 3-pointers right off the bat. Despite the Trojan’s stellar post defense, a triple-double for Iyana Brown, and tremendous composure down the stretch, Muskegon’s shooting was just too powerful for Fruitport.

“Realistically, I think we played our best game all year,” Fruitport head coach Bob German said. “From our standpoint, you just have to be positive. It was a battle. Even though it is a loss, you can still come away with confidence.

The game began with Trojan defense. Fruitport locked down the paint, allowing the Big Reds to convert just one field goal over the first eight minutes. Despite this, Muskegon netted 11 points via their three 3’s.

“Defensively, I think we caused people some problems,” German said. “They got some open looks, but if you rebound the basketball defensively, you give yourselves a chance.”

Iyana Brown willed the offense into production, grabbing seven points in the opening frame on three field goals and one made free throw.

Despite a continuously solid defensive effort, points were not coming for the Trojans. They held Muskegon to 10 points in the second quarter, but could only take four of their own, taking a 21-13 deficit into the locker room.

“Sometimes we play teams with multiple weapons like that and you just hope they don’t come out hot,” German said. “Their first nine points were three’s, but we hung in there.

“The second quarter they pulled away a bit, but they weren’t able to pull away like they have previously.”

The Trojans were just one step behind Muskegon the rest of the way. After the deficit at halftime, Fruitport was outscored, 26-23, over the final two periods. Even playing from behind, the Trojans fought hard. Sharing the ball well and continually showing effort.

“That’s our game, we are at our best when we are moving the basketball, we did a pretty good job of that today,” German said. Then it is just staying poised. I thought we did a really good job of that.”

Brown led the Trojans with a devastating triple-double on 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks. Katie Viehl finished with eight points, followed by Emily Winicki who scored five. Jaydie Hanks and Kailey Carmean rounded out the Trojan scoring with two points apiece.

“I want them to battle, that is all you can ask, just come out here and give the effort,” German said.

The Trojans will look to continue the solid play over the second-half of their conference season, after a disappointing game against Jenison, the close loss to Muskegon brings more hope than despair.

“They beat us by 25 the first time we played. We had one point at the end of the first quarter. This time, we missed some point blank shots. A few plays here and there and we are right there.”

Fruitport continues their season on the road against Mona Shores on Friday.

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