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Western Michigan Christian boys hoops team can’t keep pace with North Muskegon

Tribune Staff • Mar 7, 2017 at 12:41 AM

The Western Michigan Christian boys basketball team ran into a red hot North Muskegon squad in the Class C district opener Monday at Kent City High School.

The Norsemen used long-range shooting to take a 37-22 halftime lead, and pulled away in the second half for a 62-42 win.

Senior Riley Fairfield knocked down five 3-pointers the first half, including three in a row during a three-minute hot streak to finish with 21 points and lead the Norsemen (14-7) attack, while teammates Dalton Fuller (10 points), Thomas Montgomery (seven) and T.J. McKenzie (seven) added strong scoring contributions.

North Muskegon advances to take on Ravenna at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Muskegon Heights Academy will play Kent City in the nightcap, with the winners advancing to play for the district title Friday at 7 p.m.

Evan Fles and Dan Ray each scored nine points to lead the Warriors (7-14), while Tyler VanBeek added seven and Nolan Fairfield chipped in with six.

“Tonight, we ran into a North Muskegon team that has been playing very well,” said first-year WMC head coach Kurt Gruppen. “We knew their zone defense was going to be tough to score against. Because of that, we had to do a great job defensively against their shooters.

“In the first half, we struggled to put defensive stops together and trailed by 15 points at halftime. We were unable to make a big run in the second half to get the game to a manageable deficit.

"Overall, I was proud of the way our team battled and competed. We didn't play our best tonight, which was largely due to North Muskegon’s length and size.”

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