MUSKEGON – The opening round of the Michigan high school girls basketball playoffs usually bring about a few unforeseen upsets in every division and that was certainly the case Monday night.
The North Muskegon girls basketball team, who entered the postseason 3-17 overall, put together an inspired effort in a narrow upset of Shelby in the Division 3 ranks, while Kenowa Hills used a fourth-quarter run to upend Muskegon in the Division 1 district open.
Below are recaps and reactions from the opening round of the girls high school basketball district tournament from Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.
Kenowa Hills 43, Muskegon 37
The Knights jumped out to a 13-7 lead in the first quarter but the Lady Reds stormed back to tie the game at 25-25 at halftime. Muskegon held a three-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter, but Kenowa Hills ended the game on a 10-1 run to secure the upset win in the opening round of the Division 1 district tournament.
Layla Harris finished with 11 points to lead Muskegon, while McKynna Sims added six points.
Adrianna Marsiglia finished with a game-high 24 points to pace the Knights.
Kenowa Hills (10-11) advances to play Reeths-Puffer (15-5) in the Division 1 district semifinals Wednesday at 7 pm from Reeths-Puffer High School.
Reeths-Puffer 57, Coopersville 28
The Rockets jumped out to a 17-8 lead and tacked on a 24-4 run in the third quarter to pull away for a commanding win in the opening round of the Division 1 district tournament on Monday night.
Brooklynn Tornes finished with 18 points to lead Reeths-Puffer, while Sophia Hekkema added 16 points and Ariel Walker added 14 points.
Reeths-Puffer (15-5) advances to face Kenowa Hills (10-11) in the Division 1 district semifinals Wednesday at 7 pm from Reeths-Puffer High School.
Grand Haven 63, Grand Rapids Union 56
The Buccaneers took a 34-25 lead in the first half and fended off a late rally from the RedHawks in the fourth quarter to survive and advance to the Division 1 district semifinals on Wednesday night.
Zoe Spoelman scored 16 points to lead Grand Haven, while Caydee Constant added 12 points.
Grand Haven (10-11) advances to face Mona Shores (17-3) in the Division 1 district semifinals Wednesday at 5:30 pm from Reeths-Puffer High School.
North Muskegon 37, Shelby 35
The Norse jumped out to a 22-10 lead and had to fend off a second-half rally by the Tigers, as North Muskegon stunned Shelby in the opening round of the Division 3 district tournament Monday night.
Kendall Zoulek finished with 21 points and five rebounds to lead Shelby.
North Muskegon (4-17) advances to face Western Michigan Christian (15-4) in the Division 3 district semifinals Wednesday at 7 pm from Holton High School.
Fremont 51, Comstock Park 45
The Packers took a 17-6 lead in the first half and fended off Comstock Park in the second half to advance to the Division 2 district semifinals on Wednesday.
Haley Zerlaut scored a game-high 22 points to lead Fremont, while Mia Witte added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Fremont (5-16) will face Newaygo (19-1) in the Division 2 district semifinals Wednesday at 7 pm from Comstock Park High School.
Holton 48, Hesperia 14
The Red Devils took an 18-6 lead in the first half and held the Panthers to just two points in the third quarter as they rolled to an impressive win in the opening round of the Division 3 district tournament on Monday night.
Ryann Robins finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead Holton, while June Newell added seven points and Courtney Boes had 10 rebounds and four steals.
Holton (14-7) will face Hart (16-3) in the Division 3 district semifinals Wednesday at 5:30 pm from Holton High School.
White Cloud 25, Ravenna 18
The Bulldogs couldn’t overcome a cold shooting night from the field Monday, as they could muster six points in the first half and couldn’t complete a second-half comeback in a loss to White Cloud in the opening round of the Division 4 district tournament on Monday night.
Emma Gillard finished with seven points to pace Ravenna.
White Cloud (9-12) will face Morley Stanwood (15-4) in the district semifinals Wednesday at 7 pm from Morley Stanwood High School.
Whitehall 64, Orchard View 23
The Vikings took a commanding 31-12 lead in the first half and continued to roll past the Cardinals the rest of the way for an impressive opening-round win in the Division 2 district tournament on Monday night.
Charley Klint finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven steals to lead Whitehall, while Lola Buckner and Ashley TenBrink each added 10 points.
Whitehall (9-12) advances to face Spring Lake (12-8) in the district semifinals Wednesday at 5:30 pm from Oakridge High School.
Oakridge 52, Fruitport 20
The Eagles took a 24-16 lead in the first half and used a 13-2 run in the third quarter to pull away from the Trojans for a dominating win in the opening round of the Division 2 district tournament on Monday night.
Anna Lundquist finished with23 points and eight rebounds to lead Oakridge, while Destyni Lane added 12 points and seven steals.
Oakridge (8-13) advances to face Montague (16-4) in the district semifinals Wednesday at 7 pm from Oakridge High School.
Western Michigan Christian 58, Manistee 44
The Warriors took a 26-21 lead into halftime and fended off Manistee in the second half for a Lakes Eight Conference road win Monday night.
Owen Varnado led the way for Western Michigan Christian, as he surpassed the 1,000-point milestone in his prep career in the process.
“Tonight, we had the privilege of traveling to Manistee,” said WMC head coach Kurt Gruppen. “This was the last basketball game played in the history of the Lakes Eight Conference. With the win tonight, the WMC boys were able to finish in second place in the conference.
“Congratulations to Owen Varnado on scoring his 1,000th career point tonight as a varsity basketball player at WMC. Owen is a four-year starter at WMC and has put in the work outside of practice to achieve such a milestone. Owen has continued to improve his game since his freshmen year and has really evolved as a basketball player. He endured two seasons affected by COVID-19 and had a couple of injured seasons. Owen represents very well what a student-athlete at WMC should be”.
MORE MUSKEGON-AREA SPORTS COVERAGE
Muskegon-area boys basketball district pairings and schedules
Vote for the Muskegon-area athlete of the week for Feb. 21-26
Muskegon-area girls basketball predictions for district tournaments
Muskegon-area basketball highlights: Mona Shores, Reeths-Puffer girls share OK Green title
Montague wrestling standout voted Muskegon-area Athlete of the Week
Muskegon-area basketball roundup: Hart, Montague girls survive late-season scares
Whitehall goes Code Red in overtime to slide past Ludington
Muskegon-area basketball highlights: Zoulek surpasses milestone in win over Whitehall
Muskegon-area basketball highlights: Walker’s late bucket lifts Reeths-Puffer over Muskegon