Emily Sexton’s free throw with 3 seconds remaining gave Grand Haven’s varsity girls basketball team a 34-33 victory over Forest Hills Central on Saturday at Davenport University.
The win pushes the Buccaneers’ streak of consecutive victories to 57 games. Grand Haven did not lose a game in the 2012 or 2013 calendar years. The Bucs’ next game is Friday, Jan. 3, at Mona Shores.
“We’re not where we want to be, but we’re six games in and we’re finding ways to win,” said Bucs’ coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer. “Forest Hills Central is a really good program. That’s one of the reasons we picked them up on our schedule this year is because they’re one of the best programs in the area. We knew it was going to be a tough game.”
The Bucs looked ready to coast to an easy win after Mallory Beswick’s 3-pointer late in the third quarter gave her team a 28-21 win.
Back-to-back turnovers led to a pair of Rangers’ 3-pointers, however, and suddenly the game was tied at 28-all.
Grand Haven trailed 33-32 late in the game. Amanda Merz was fouled driving to the basket with 29 seconds remaining, and she split a pair of free throws, tying the contest at 33-all.
FHC ran the clock down and set up a play for its top scorer, Mya Udell. She drove to the basket ball was closely guarded by friend and AAU teammate Taylor Craymer. Craymer forced the missed shot, secured the defensive rebound, and fired a long pass down the court to Sexton, who was fouled going in for a layup.
Sexton, a senior guard, made her first free throw to put the Bucs on top by a point. She missed the second, and Forest Hills Central called a time out with around 2 seconds remaining.
The Rangers had to settle for a long 3-point from near midcourt, which wasn’t close.
Read more of this story in Monday's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.