Heavy-hearted Bucs' fans flood the Breslin

The tragic car crash that left five Grand Haven High School students hospitalized on Friday hasn't dissuaded Buccaneers' fans from making the return trip to East Lansing for today's Class A state title game.
Matt DeYoung
Mar 19, 2012

 

In fact, Grand Haven senior Andrew Prince said today's basketball game has become a rallying point for the fans and the community.

"We don't want to take away from what these girls have accomplished this season, but we realized yesterday that life is more important than basketball," Prince said. "But this is a huge game for our community, for the mood of our community. If we can capitalize on this game, it'll be big not only for the school but also for the community."

Prince was on his way to Friday's game when he got word of the crash. His girlfriend's mother stopped at the scene of the accident and passed along information.

After Friday's win, Prince said Grand Haven students gathered near the spectator busses outside the Breslin Center.

"We all gathered and had a moment of silence, then Mr. (Mike) Roberson came in and gave us an update," Prince said. "Then we broke off into prayer circles."

Prince didn't drive back to Grand Haven — he stayed with relatives in Lansing — but he did his best to follow breaking news on his injured classmates.

"I was up until 2 a.m. reading all the updates online, and checking the group on Facebook."

Fellow Buccaneer senior Mike Ginocchio was on a spectator bus that passed the accident and he said the images he saw still haunt him.

"We knew something was wrong when the bus started slowing down, then I remember looking out to the left and I saw a car crash and it looked really bad," Ginocchio said. "I saw two people laying in the road, then the teachers on the bus told us to look the other way.

"It was really scary."

Ginocchio drove to today's game, and Friday's accident was always in his thoughts.

"I was careful," he said. "At the same time, the girls (basketball team) is playing for them, for all of us. What happened yesterday was a freak accident, and all we can do is hope and pray for the best."

 

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