GRAND RAPIDS – Back in 2014, the Muskegon boys basketball team posted a perfect 28-0 record en route to a state championship.

That was an amazing team. Nobody gave that Big Red squad much in the way of competition all season.

The 2022-23 Big Reds got off to a great start in that direction, posting a perfect 13-0 record through its Friday night conference win over Reeths-Puffer.

But this squad will not be repeating the perfection of 2014, because the Big Reds ran into some very good competition on Saturday and fell 68-55 to North Farmington, the No. 1 ranked team in Division 1, at Aquinas College.

Muskegon Coach Keith Guy, who coached the 2014 team, has been down this road lots of times before, and he knows there can be value in a first loss.

“Maybe this is good for us,” Guy said. “Maybe there is a silver lining in this. I don’t know if we could’ve handled being undefeated all the way through with the goal of winning a state championship. We need to go back to the drawing board now and refocus. This is good for us.”

Muskegon’s Anthony Sydnor

Guy noted that the loss came during the regular season, which is definitely the right time to get it out of the way.

“You don’t get any resets in March,” he said. “If we’re having this conversation in March, we’d be cleaning our lockers out.”

Muskegon struggled on defense on Saturday, when North Farmington repeatedly beat the Big Red press for easy layups.

“We didn’t do anything the scouting report called for,” said Guy, whose team allowed 44 second half points. “I thought we went off script. We weren’t poised and I don’t think we matched their physicality. We’re much tougher than what we played, but hats off to them.”

Muskegon was competitive throughout the game, trailing just 13-9 after the first quarter and 24-20 at halftime. Anthony Sydnor III led the Big Reds with seven first-half points.

The third quarter didn’t go well, however, with North Farmington scoring 24 points and taking a 48-36 lead into the fourth. Terrance Davis led the Big Reds with six third quarter points.

Muskegon’s Jordan Briggs

In the fourth quarter, the Big Reds were unable to get enough stops and were outscored 20-19.

Sydnor III led Muskegon with 15 points on the night while Jordan Briggs finished with 12.

Ryan Hunst led North Farmington with 22 points.

Muskegon will travel to Zeeland East on Tuesday in hopes of improving its O-K Green Conference record to 9-0.

“This is why we schedule these games,” Guy said about the loss to the No. 1 ranked team. “It prepares us for anybody. It prepares us for Zeeland East and to be better daily.”