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Dutch join mix with victory

Holland used a huge scoring spurt in the first half Friday night en route to knocking off Muskegon Mona Shores 59-45 at the Dutch Dome.
/ Source: The Holland Sentinel

Holland used a huge scoring spurt in the first half Friday night en route to knocking off Muskegon Mona Shores 59-45 at the Dutch Dome.

With the victory, the Dutch moved into a first-place tie with four other teams in the O-K Red Lakeshore at 4-3 (5-7 overall), while Mona Shores fell to 2-5 (6-6 overall).

"Neither (team) is really dominating offensively, so it was a little sloppy at times," said Holland coach Steve Windemuller. "It takes us a little while to find our way of scoring each night."

The game was knotted at 7-7 midway through a foul-plagued first quarter when the Sailors hit two 3-pointers and a short jumper during an 8-0 run to take a 15-7 lead.

The Dutch, led by six points from Pete Zessin and four from Neal Parker, responded in a strong way, scoring the last 11 points of the quarter to edge ahead 18-15. It was the start of their strong 10-minute run to close the first half.

Zessin nailed a three-pointer and powered his way inside for a tough three-point play, and Parker took a pass from Brad Bechard for a layup to key the run.

"A lot of the teams we play focus on (some of the other guys) and that opens up shots for me," said Zessin. "My teammates find me when I'm open and it gives me easy shots to knock down."

Zessin scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the first quarter.

Bechard found Parker again for a layup with two seconds remaining to put Holland ahead 36-28.

Parker was fouled on the play and, after missing the free throw, he grabbed his own rebound and banked in a 12-footer to give Holland a 38-28 halftime advantage.

The Dutch outscored the Sailors 31-13 to end the first half.

Parker had also drained a 14-footer off a missed free throw to end the first quarter.

"(Hitting both those shots) was just luck," Parker said about his end-of-quarter heroics. "I should have made the free throws."

Mona Shores tried to make a couple of runs in the second half, getting as close as five points (40-35) after scoring seven straight late in the third quarter.

Bechard's only 3-pointer of the night put Holland back up by eight points and Jesse Kippley sealed the victory when he knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 49-37 early in the fourth quarter.

"We're happy to be playing the kind of basketball that we're playing right now," said Windemuller. "I think we're just scratching the surface of how good we can be."

Bechard and Austin Kloske added 12 points each for the Dutch. Kloske also grabbed 11 rebounds. Parker chipped in eight points and seven rebounds for Holland.

Tim Walstra and Chaz Amidon each scored nine points to lead Mona Shores.

Contact Lukas Cimbal at alan.babbitt@hollandsentinel.com or (616) 546-4271.