The Buccaneers’ boys basketball team learned that the steep road to improvement can at times be a slippery slope.
After taking three big steps forward the past three games — wins over Spring Lake and Mona Shores and a close loss to Muskegon — coach Steve Hewitt’s team took a big step back on Tuesday.
The Buccaneers fell behind visiting Hudsonville early on and never were able to claw back into the game, suffering a 46-34 loss to an Eagles’ team that had lost five consecutive games coming in.
“I don’t know what to say,” said a despondent Hewitt following the loss. “This is definitely a low point. After playing fairly well Friday, I felt we made pretty big steps forward against Mona Shores and Muskegon, but this is a big step back today.”
Hewitt was most disappointed in what he perceived to be a lack of “smart effort.”
“It seemed like we could make a couple good defensive plays, then miss a layup,” Hewitt said. “Every bounce, we controlled our own destiny, but we couldn’t hit layups or get defensive rebounds.”
The ball certainly didn’t bounce the Bucs’ way. A prime example came during a short stretch midway through the fourth quarter, when the Bucs were pressing trying to catch up.
Grand Haven forced a defensive stop, and freshman Ross Koella secured a rebound, but the ball was slapped away off his foot, turning the ball back over to Hudsonville.
Moments later, the Eagles’ 6-foot-8 junior Brent Hibbitts charged to the rim, was fouled, and flipped the ball high in the air. It hit nothing but net on the way back down, stretching Hudsonville’s lead to 44-28.
Hibbitts finished with a game-high 22 points. His eight first-quarter points single-handedly outscored Grand Haven as Hudsonville raced out to a 15-7 lead.
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