Believe in the Bucs now? GH girls going back to the Breslin

Grand Haven's Abby Cole rose to new heights throughout the Buccaneers' Class A quarterfinals showdown against East Lansing on Tuesday.
Nate Thompson
Mar 14, 2012

That’s difficult to do for someone who already stands 6-foot-5.  

The talented junior center had the game of her life against the upset-minded Trojans at historic Don Johnson Fieldhouse at Lansing Eastern High School, recording a triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and an incredible 13 blocks in the Bucs’ thrilling 42-40 double overtime victory.

The win sends Grand Haven (25-1) back to Michigan State University’s Breslin Center for Friday’s Class A semifinals.

“Oh my gosh, we’re going back to the Breslin!” Cole said after the win. “It’s awesome.”

The Bucs will match up against Inkster, which defeated Detroit Martin Luther King in another Tuesday quarterfinal. Inkster is the defending Class A state champions.

After the frantic celebration with her teammates on the court, Cole hopped up into the bleachers and proceeded to give out dozens of hugs, posed for pictures and received countless words of congratulations.

It was praise well-deserved, as Cole willed the Bucs back from a nine-point halftime deficit against a lightening-quick East Lansing squad that frustrated Grand Haven by eating away huge chunks of time with their four-corners offense that most fans would simply call a stall.

There was no stall in Cole’s game on Tuesday. It was full-charge from the get-go.

“I wasn’t intimidated coming in,” she said. “I saw their posts and I respected them, but I thought they were small and not very athletic. But now, I have to say they were really good.

“I knew I had to step up my game. (Grand Haven coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer) said we had to work on our inside game because our outside shots weren’t falling.”

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