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Hudsonville girls basketball coach Casey Glass relives state championship run

Eagles coming off first-ever state title
Casey Glass hoists trophy after Hudsonville state title
Posted at 11:15 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 17:38:57-04

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — Hudsonville girls basketball coach Casey Glass has had more than a week to process everything that has happened over the past few months, including the first state championship in program history.

The Eagles beat Detroit Renaissance, 65-61 in the Division 1 state championship game at the Breslin Center on April 9.

Casey Glass relives state title run

Glass is now taking a look back at the season and everything he and his team went through.

"I guess the emotion of it is just the amount of time and energy that these kids put in," Glass said, "for us to not know if we're going to have a season and then it was yes, we're going to have a season but when would that start."

Casey Glass shares a hug after the state championship win
Casey Glass hugs Hudsonville Athletic Director, Kevin Wolma after the state championship victory at the Breslin Center.

And even after the season was started, there were several things going through the minds of coaches.

"You're constantly worried about, 'Are we going to contact trace someone out?'" Glass mentioned, "but as we got through to that quarterfinal and my wife and kids were in Florida, that was kind of a good thing because I don't know if I got to bed before 2 A.M. any one of those nights, just constantly breaking down film, putting things together trying to prep your team to get him ready."

Glass, who just finished his 13th season at the helm for the Eagles, has built the program from the middle school level on up.

"When you run a program, you've got to control and you got to have to have a say in things that happen from the time these kids are young through now," he added on his philosophy.

Hudsonville huddle
The Hudsonville girls basketball starters huddle ahead of the state championship game.

"The investment in young kids in our program has been huge. That's something when I came in, I looked at how some of our other programs in our school have done things and the investment that they put into the lower levels. If you're not invested that way, and you're only concerned about, maybe the varsity team, I just don't think that that's a model that a lot of kids want to be involved in."

While the five seniors on this year's roster meant the world to Coach Glass and his program, the juniors helped tremendously on and off of the floor as well.

Juniors Jaci Tubergen and Alaina Diaz had outstanding games in the state championship. In fact, Tubergen had an 11-0 run by herself in the third quarter to help extend the Hudsonville lead, finishing the game with 28 points and 12 rebounds.

Jaci Tubergen and Maddie Petroelje
Hudsonville junior Jaci Tubergen (33) and sophomore Maddie Petroelje (34) get set to play defense during a possession in the state championship game.

"We switched roles a little bit last year, Jaci was maybe more of a point guard," Glass said. "Well, Jaci grew and she's about six-foot now, so we kind of made that decision that we're going to try to have Alaina take it up more. But honestly, the two of them feed off each other and that's what's the best part about the whole thing."

With Tubergen, Diaz, Eva Joldersma and sophomore Maddie Petroelje all returning next season, just to name a few, it's tough not to think about the potential of a Hudsonville state championship repeat next winter.

Hudsonville celebrates at the buzzer
Hudsonville players celebrate as the buzzer sounds in the state championship game.

"Obviously, the target is on our back, but I think that's okay. I think that these girls have embraced that a little bit. I mean, the previous year we were 22-1, so I don't think we're hiding from anybody."

At the same time, Glass also says that he doesn't want his players and program to focus so much on the trophies as much as the memories they make together.

"Somebody may disagree with me, but if kids walk out my program and feel like they were a failure because they didn't win a trophy. Well, there's only one team that's going to win that big trophy at the end and I hope that the opportunities and the platform that we put in front of them on a daily basis are the things that they look back and say, that in itself, was a win," Glass added.