After having their last two games called off because of inclement weather, the Buccaneers’ boys basketball team had plenty of pent-up energy.
They put that energy to good use on Friday night, racing out to a 13-2 lead and pulling away for a 55-34 win over rival West Ottawa. The win is Grand Haven’s first in conference play for the Bucs (4-6, 1-2 O-K Red), while the Panthers (6-4, 2-1) lost a league game for the first time this year.
“To be honest, we haven’t played a game in so long, and we were mad every time our games would get canceled, so we were ready to go tonight,” said Bucs’ point guard Noah Lein, who finished with 14 points and five assists.
Lein and the Buccaneers wasted no time getting things going against the rival Panthers. His driving floater in traffic splashed through the net for an 8-2 lead midway through the first quarter.
A 3-pointer by Connor Grimes made it 11-2, then Grimes swiped the ball and coasted in for a layup and a 13-2 lead.
Lein’s dish to Adam Abraham for a bucket just before the buzzer made it 15-4 Grand Haven at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers refused to go down quietly, led by lightening-quick guards Johnell Williams and P.J. Trammell. Williams was especially bothersome to the Bucs as he stole the ball from Lein several times, resulting in quite a few fast break points. The Panthers clawed to within a point at 25-24 on a 3-pointer by Jared McNitt and a steal and a bucket by Williams early in the third quarter, but the Bucs answered with a driving bucket by Grimes and a 3-pointer by Lein.
Defensive specialist Isaak Newhouse then scored back-to-back buckets, pushing the Bucs’ lead back to 10 at 34-24 and forcing a West Ottawa time out.
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