Muskegon Western Michigan Christian 66 Marine City Cardinal Mooney 56
The first game of the day is Muskegon Western Michigan Christian against Marine City Cardinal Mooney.Â WMC enters the game with a 25-2 record and last yearâ€™s Class D state title on their resume.Â This is also their fourth straight trip to the finals, winning the last two in a row.Â The Warriors are coached by Jim Goorman who has a 485-302 record in his 31 seasons.Â Marine City Cardinal Mooney rides into the state championship game with a 21-5 record.Â They are coached by Jim McAndrews and he has a 134-100 record in his 12 seasons.
From the floor, these teams seem to match up fairly well when it comes to height.Â WMC looks a bit more athletic in my honest opinion.Â The Cardinals are in black with red and the Warriors wear white with green.Â The game didn't start with a whole lot of offense; on the contrary.Â Defense was the name of the game as each team passed the ball around in order to create smart shots.Â Evan Bruinsma, a 6â€™7â€ forward for WMC had a nice block on a layup to keep Mooney from taking a seven point lead.Â Half way through the first quarter, the score was 7-2.Â WMC then went to a full court press trying to stop the Cardinal flight.Â It worked as they took an 8-7 lead with just over two minutes to play in the first.Â Except for a free throw by Garrison Glowniak, Mooney didnâ€™t score again in the first quarter.Â After one period, it was 14-8.Â Bruinsma was showing that he is a versatile big man, scoring, grabbing rebounds, and showing his ball handling skills.
It didnâ€™t take long for Mooney to get going in the second.Â They hit a quick three but couldnâ€™t box out Bruinsma who grabbed two of his own rebounds and put in another two points.Â WMC continued to play tough D and getting a lot of rebounds on the offensive glass.Â MCCM was able to get their offense going in the second, but not as well as WMC.Â They were being out-hustled by the Warriors.Â Scrappy 5â€™6â€ guard Jeff Burris was running around like a mad man, stealing the ball and forcing bad shots.Â The score was 32-22 WMC at the break.Â Bruinsma had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors in the first half.Â He was by far the best player on the floor.Â Not necessarily the best athlete but he has a nice feel for what to do and the skills the back them up.Â For Cardinal Mooney, Tommy Twardecki scored nine and pulled down three rebounds.Â His team also turned the ball over 12 times which included stolen balls.
Both teams scored early to open the third.Â The Cardinals didnâ€™t have an answer for Bruinsma as he continued to dominate the glass and lead the fast break with his dribbling skills.Â Similarly to how they both started, both teams scored quickly and relied more on their defensive prowess when the scoring dried up.Â Cardinal Mooney wasnâ€™t going to go into a corner and cryâ€¦they worked hard to keep the score within 10 through the mid way point of the third quarter.Â Bruisma had a nice dunk to end a fast break started by yet another turn over.Â Then, just like an avalanche, both teams started putting up points as the quarter was winding down.Â After three, WMC still led, but only by six points with a 50-44 advantage.
It was poor play by the WMC guards that kept Mooney in the game.Â They were taking silly chances and not making the simple plays.Â Luckily for their title hopes, the team came together and got some shots to fall.Â The offense continued to roll and halfway through the fourth it was 60-51.Â Although Marine City Cardinal Mooney was down, they continued to fight and scrap their way back into the game.Â That must have been exactly how they got to the state title game.Â With the clock winding down, the Cardinals made some nice passes, but the shots wouldnâ€™t fall to aid their comeback.Â No one would argue against Cardinal Mooney saying that they gave up.Â With 35 seconds remaining, both coaches put in their reserves.Â Evan Bruisma finished the game with 25 points and 20 rebounds in 30 minutes of play.Â He also blocked five shots, tossed three assists, and stole three balls.Â The final score was 66-56 in favor of Muskegon Western Michigan Christian.Â The top scorer for Marine City Cardinal Mooney was Joe Broderick with 17.Â He also pulled down 10 rebounds and stole a ball.Â For the game, WMC stole 11 balls, blocked six shots, and scored 25 points off turnovers.