Grand Haven’s varsity boys basketball team had trouble getting started and re-started against visiting Hudsonville Unity Christian on Thursday in the Bucs’ regular-season finale at Grand Haven Fieldhouse.
The Crusaders (15-5) opened the contest on an 8-0 run, and also started the second half with an 8-0 spurt.
“We were always playing from behind,” said Grand Haven coach Steve Hewitt.
The Bucs fought back and had numerous chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter but could never get over the hump, falling 48-46 to complete a 10-10 record.
Hewitt was puzzled by his team’s pair of slow starts in the contest.
“It was the first 3-4 minutes of each half. I wish I could explain why we played so poorly in both of those spurts,” he said. “We just weren’t ready to go, both offensively and defensively.”
Hewitt said the Crusaders gave the Bucs fits at time with their tall lineup, including 6-foot-5 guard Michael Wilks, who led all scorers with 20 points. Ryan Wassink, a 6-7 center, also hurt the Bucs with his activity on the boards.
“Their size gave us some problems,” Hewitt said. “We only had one offensive rebound and they had five.”
Still, Hewitt was pleased as the way his team battled back. Senior forward Mac Carter had a strong effort with a team-best 13 points, while Connor Grimes provided a spark off the bench with eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
“We did a lot of good things,” Hewitt said. “Aside from those poor starts, we actually defended them very well. They’re a very good team.”
Hewitt and the Bucs will now prepare of their Class A district opener on Monday against host Kenowa Hills. The Knights have won just two games this season, but Hewitt said they seem to be playing much better including a win on Thursday.
“We’re going to have to play our best basketball,” he said.