Grand Haven coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer has had the tough decision of who to start alongside point guard Amanda Merz all season.
At different points, Kowalczyk-Fulmer has pegged Courtney Springer, Mallory Beswick and Angie Schultz into that starting spot.
On Saturday, in the Class A state championship game, it was Grace Kendra’s turn, and the senior was up to the challenge.
Kendra was perfect from the floor and the free throw line, scoring six points to go with four rebounds and an assist in 22 minutes.
“It’s amazing to be a part of this,” Kendra said after the game. “Everything’s been so unreal. I can’t even wrap my mind around it yet.”
Hearing her name announced as a starter over the Breslin Center loudspeakers was a thrill.
“It was nerve-wracking for sure,” said Kendra, who plans to run track in college. “I knew I had to keep my composure. That was No. 1. I had to keep my composure and work as hard as I could.”
Kendra gave the Bucs a boost with her offense. First, she scored off an inbounds play late in the first half to put her team on top 26-15.
Early in the second half, she peeled off a screen and splashed a jumper from just inside the 3-point line.
She closed out the third by drilling a pair of free throws.
Kendra was one of the Bucs’ better 3-point shooters early in the year, but her percentage from long range had been plummeting lately. That didn’t stop her from confidently firing up that long jumper on Saturday.
“I knew that if I was going to take it, I better believe it’s going in,” Kendra said. “It felt so good to see it go down. Then I had to get back on defense.”