The Bucs did a decent job of limiting turnovers against the Eagles, but they slipped up when it mattered the most — in the clutch.
The Eagles did their part in making the Bucs pay for those mistakes and came out with a 50-47 victory, but the win wasn’t decided until Grand Haven’s Matt Kroll’s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer hit nothing but glass.
The O-K Red Conference rivals were deadlocked at 37 apiece with just over 3 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles forced two critical Bucs’ turnovers in the ensuing minute and a half of action — both of which led to transition buckets.
The Eagles’ third key play came off a missed 3-pointer from Bucs’ guard Alex Eidson. Hudsonville tracked down the long rebound and pushed the ball quickly ahead to standout senior Blake Hibbitts. He swooped to the hoop, layed the ball in and was fouled. He converted the 3-point play, putting the Eagles up comfortably by seven.
Hibbitts, a 6-foot-6 guard/forward who has committed to play at Division 1 Samford, led all scorers with 26 points — his season high.
“We just had a couple bad possessions there which hurt us,” said Grand Haven coach Steve Hewitt, whose squad falls to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the O-K Red. “You simply can’t do that against good teams like Hudsonville. We can’t have those lapses.”
To read more of this story, see the print or e-edition of today's Grand Haven Tribune.