Kevin LaCroix’s free throw with four seconds remaining turned out to be a critical one for Grand Haven’s varsity boys basketball team.
That’s because Grandville’s Joey Lanning drilled a buzzer-beater 3-pointer, but it didn’t matter as the Bucs had just enough of a lead to hold on for a 44-43 victory over the host Bulldogs.
“Looking back, we were pleased to win a close game,” said Bucs’ coach Steve Hewitt, whose team is now 6-6 overall and 1-2 in O-K Red Conference games. “It’s important. You have to be able to do that. We’re going to be in a lot of close games, and we have to find ways to win.”
The Buccaneers entered the fourth quarter trailing 27-23, but a pair of Ethan Groothuis 3-pointers jump-started a big final frame for the Bucs, who poured in 21 points in the fourth.
“Ethan made those two 3’s near the beginning of the quarter, and that kind of got us going,” Hewitt said. “Then Ty (VanWieren) and Mac (Carter) made some big plays in that quarter as well.”
The Bucs also took advantage of being in the bonus early, getting to the free throw line several times in the second half. The Bucs finished 13-of-18 from the foul line.
Sean Steffel scored 12 points for the Bucs and VanWeiren added 11. Groothuis finished with six points.
Lanning led Grandville with 13 hard-earned points. He was pestered by Grand Haven junior defensive specialist Isaac Newhouse for much of the game.
Todd Cornett scored 10 for the Bulldogs, who are now 2-9 overall and 0-3 in league play.
Grand Haven returns to play at West Ottawa on Tuesday. That game will be played at Harbor Lights Middle School (the old high school).