EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — It doesn’t matter what the stage has been all season, senior Jordan Briggs has been the main event for the Muskegon Big Reds.
He’s the leader on the floor of a very talented bunch, always cool and composed. When he gets going, no one has had an answer for stopping him. So when the lights got a little brighter at the Breslin Center for the Division 1 State Semifinal, could he and the Big Reds continue to find success?
“No doubt in my mind,” Briggs said with a smile.
The senior leader put together another impressive performance, leading Muskegon (26-2) in scoring 19 points while also leading with seven rebounds and five assists on the way to a 65-42 win over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (14-11) on Friday.
In their first trip to East Lansing since 2014, Muskegon is heading to a date in the state finals with Cass Tech at 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
“That was a really tough team in Orchard Lake that we just beat,” head coach Keith Guy said. “They are really tough to defend. We are committed to defense. We try to make everything tough, these guys put in a lot of work and I’m just blessed to have another chance to coach them tomorrow.”
The 42 points the Eaglets scored was the lowest total all season.
Like they have for a good part of this season, Muskegon got off to a lightning fast start. Back-to-back triples from David Day and Anthony Syndor forced a timeout from the Eaglets, putting them ahead 15-4. That lead would blossom to 21-8 before Orchard Lake closed the gap at halftime, trailing 30-21.
In the second half, the Eaglets would never get closer than eight points. Following another triple from James Martin and a pull up jumper from the free throw line by Briggs, the Big Reds took a 13-point lead and coasted. In the fourth quarter with plenty of fouls, free throw shooting became large as the Big Reds knocked down 21 of 29 attempts.
Briggs scored 19 to lead the way, Day got 16 and Syndor 11 to round out the Big Reds’ double-digit scorers.
For Guy, the success is nothing new. Since arriving in 2012, he has won eight straight conference titles, eight district championships, four regional crowns and the state title in 2014.
According to him, the credit needs to be given all around Big Red nation.
“If it wasn’t for these kids next to me (at the podium following the win over Orchard Lake), I wouldn’t be here talking to all of you right now,” Guy said. “I am so blessed to have not just great players and coaches to work with, but the entire community of Big Red Nation that follows us. It’s a blessing to be a part of.”
He said the chance for the program’s first state title since 2014 is another challenge he knows his team is ready for.
“It means everything,” Briggs said. “It’s one more game to get what we have been working for the whole summer, fall and offseason. It’s a surreal moment for us, but we will be ready.”
Who would doubt the Wayne State University commit? So far this season, he has been there to get this team to the finish line with a victory more times than not.