Bucs seniors win in final home game

In one sense, Grand Haven's Jeremy Lattig said the realization of playing for the last time at Grand Haven Fieldhouse with five other Buccaneers seniors was a little sad.
Nate Thompson
Feb 22, 2012

 

But as far as a final opportunity goes, Lattig made the most of his final home game.

The Bucs’ senior forward scored a career-high 20 points, including nine in the third-quarter, as Grand Haven pulled away from a struggling Grandville squad, 59-43, on Tuesday evening. The Bucs also honored seniors Matt Kroll, Alex Eidson, Matt Davis, Danny Cotter and Brent Boerema prior to tip-off.

“It feels great to end my last game here with my career high,” Lattig said. “(This senior class) is really close. Four of us play football, so we’ve grown really tight through that, but the two that don’t, I still hang out all the time with those guys, Matt and Brent.

“I’m kind of sad to see it go, but it’s been a good 4 years here.”

Lattig’s big third quarter seemed to resonate with his teammates, as the Bucs (10-8, 8-5 O-K Red) shot a blistering 16-of-27 from the floor (59 percent) after halftime. Lattig said Bucs’ head coach Steve Hewitt made a switch at halftime to a four-out offensive set, which created better spacing on the floor and allowed Grand Haven to cut and create.

“People say we don’t have a tall team, but we’re very quick and we’re a very good defensive team,” Lattig said. “When we’re hot, we feel we can beat anybody.”

Despite it being Senior Night, Grand Haven seemed like it had a hard time getting energized for the Bulldogs early on. Grandville, whose 11-man roster features all juniors, is winless in the O-K Red Conference this season at 0-13 and has just two wins overall.

But the Bulldogs played like a much better squad than their record indicated throughout the first half, taking advantage of a free range on the offensive end. Sharp-shooting point guard Matt Volk led their charge, as he scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers.

Grand Haven had a 16-12 lead after one quarter, thanks to a tough off-balanced 3-pointer by Ethan Groothuis with two seconds on the clock. But Grandville battled back late in the second quarter to take a one-point lead into half.

Volk connected on a deep, straight-away 3 to start the spurt. On the other end with time running down, the Bulldogs forced a Bucs’ turnover, and passed ahead to a streaking Collin Telman, who converted a layup and was fouled with just one second on the clock. His 3-point play gave the Bulldogs a 27-26 halftime lead.

Hewitt said his team’s defensive intensity was lackluster in the first half.

“The bottom line was we just needed to play harder defensively,” he said. “The effort wasn’t where we needed it to be and we were giving up too many easy baskets.

“I thought we picked (the intensity) up in the second half, and it carried over to the offensive end.”

Volk connected on another 3-pointer to open the second half, but Grand Haven soon made it much more difficult for the ‘Dawgs on the offensive end. Alex Eidson’s drive and score late in the third quarter helped the Bucs re-gain their lead at 36-35, and they never trailed again.

Lattig continued to thrive, as he worked a backdoor cut with point guard Kevin LaCroix for an easy layup, which gave the Bucs a 45-39 lead entering the fourth.

“A lot of (Jeremy’s) game is all about effort,” Hewitt said. “He’s scoring on offensive rebounds or in transition. It was a good job of him getting open and the guys finding him tonight.”

The Bucs completely dominated the fourth, outscoring the visiting Bulldogs, 14-4, en route to the 16-point victory. Volk was held scoreless in the quarter.

Aside from Lattig’s high-scoring effort, Eidson added 12 points and four assists, and Matt Kroll totaled six points and three assists. Sean Steffel, the Bucs’ 5-foot-11 point guard, led the team with six rebounds, while Lattig snagged five.

The Bucs finished shooting 57 percent from the floor (25-of-44) and were a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line.

The Bucs play at Jenison on Friday, then close out their regular season at Forest Hills Northern next week Thursday.

Grand Haven then turns its attention to the Class A district tournament, which will be hosted by Cedar Springs.

“We’re very confident going into the districts,” Lattig said. “But we realize it’s going to be a battle every night and we can’t go in there sleep walking through it.”

Junior Varsity: Grand Haven improved to 15-3 overall and 10-3 in league play with a 55-42 win over Grandville. Marcus Tumblin had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Bucs, while Connor Graimes also scored 13 points. Korey Searle chipped in with 12 points, and Isaak Newhouse scored nine.

Freshmen: Grand Haven pounded Grandville, 56-27. Thompson McWaters paced the Bucs with nine points and seven rebounds, while Noah Lein had eight points for the Bucs (14-4, 9-4 O-K Red). Nic Holwerda scored six points to go with five rebounds, and Nick Alpher had four points and three board.

 

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