For a team that has reached the Breslin Center — host of the state semifinals and finals — each of the last three years, losing in the district semifinals at Reeths-Puffer High School was a tough blow to swallow.
But rather than lamenting what could have been, it’s a great time to look back at the past three years and realize just how special those times were.
The 2011 tourney run sometimes gets lost in the mix, since it didn’t end in a state championship.
That run began with the Bucs getting revenge against Marquette (which eliminated Grand Haven the previous year) in the regional semifinals, then pounding Lowell in the regional championship game.
The quarterfinals featured a fierce battle with East Lansing at Lansing Eastern High School, which had been a graveyard for Buccaneers’ teams in years past. But Grand Haven overcame East Lansing to reach the Breslin Center for the first time in program history.
Who can forget that semifinal game against Detroit Renaissance. The Buccaneers, playing on the biggest stage for the first time, had a chance to win the game, but an inopportune foul in the closing moments let the Phoenix hit the game-winning free throw in a 39-38 Renaissance victory.
The Buccaneers vowed they’d be back, and the 2012 tournament run was unforgettable.
Read more of this column in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.