EAST LANSING, Mich – It took an extra 4 minutes, but the Grand Haven girls basketball team once again beat Grosse Pointe South to repeat as Class A state champion, 60-54 in overtime Saturday at the Breslin Center.
The Lady Buccaneers led by most of the game and by as much as 11 multiple times including early in the 4th quarter, but senor center Abby Cole went to the bench with 4 fouls late in the 3rd quarter. With Cole out, Grosse Pointe South (25-2) rallied to force overtime.
Cole, who finished with 11 points in the game, scored on consecutive trips in the overtime to push Grand Haven to the 6 point victory. “I was mentally preparing myself to go out there and play smart, it was really stressful” Cole said about her time on the bench with 4 fouls.
Fellow senior Hannah Wilkerson led Grand Haven with 17 points all the while guarding one of the top players in the state, Grosse Pointe South sophomore Cierra Rice. “We were walking into halftime and I was like I can’t feel my legs but the adrenaline just kept coming and it was such a close game and playing on that floor in that arena in front of all Grand Haven, our whole city was here, it was crazy” Wilkerson said. Junior Taylor Craymer added 14 points.
Grand Haven (28-0) won the game despite turning the ball over 32 times against the Blue Devils pressure, but the Buccaneers made up for it by shooting 75.9% (22-29) from the floor.”We knew we needed to knock down some shots today if we wanted a chance” Grand Haven coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer said.
The Lady Bucs have now made 3 straight trips to the final 4, won consecutive titles and own a 51 game winning streak. “I think this year tops last year for me because there is so much good teamwork and we’re so close on and off the court and it was just the most special senior season I could ask for” Cole added.