Lady Bucs unable to knock off top-seeded Falcons on Bucs Pride night

Junior+Allie+Keyser+moves+the+ball+up+the+court
Junior Allie Keyser moves the ball up the court

Junior Allie Keyser moves the ball up the court

Lauren Morgan

Lauren Morgan

Junior Allie Keyser moves the ball up the court

Sam Woiteshek, Reporter

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On a chilly night in Grand Haven, the girls varsity basketball team was unable to stay consistently hot in their home matchup against the top-ranked team in the state, East Kentwood. Grand Haven took a hard-fought loss, 51-47.

 

It was an extremely physical matchup with press defenses on both sides, so much so that after the first quarter the score was only 9-3 in favor of the Buccaneers.

 

In the second quarter, it was all Falcons as they went on a 12-0 run to take a 15-9 lead. The Lady Bucs were able to narrow the deficit by halftime, only trailing 23-21.

 

The third quarter was all about transition points, leading to a 38-36 East Kentwood lead heading into the final 10 minutes of the game.

 

The Falcons made a quick jump to extend their lead 47-40, before junior guard Alli Keyser knocked a down a huge three-pointer and senior forward Maggie Long made nice basket underneath, cutting the lead down to 47-45. After fouling to save time, the Buccaneers had their chance to pull even. However, the inbound pass was intercepted by the opposition and East Kentwood was able to pull away, winning the game.

 

“I thought we were a more talented team than East Kentwood,” coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. “I think they were the more aggressive team.”

 

For the Lady Bucs, Keyser led the team with all-around effort of 21 points, nine rebounds, six assists and six steals. Long followed with 10 points off the bench, while senior Sophie Mariani and senior Autumn Buikema chipped in eight points each.

 

“We’re not doing the little things,” Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. “We were in a position to win at the end but if you don’t execute the plays and come to meet passes you’re going to play right into their hands.”

 

The Bucs were plagued by injuries. The team didn’t have junior center Esther Byington, who is now out for the season, nor junior center Kelly Olthof, who tore her ACL and is expected to be back in February. The loss of both hurt as they couldn’t matchup to the size of the Falcons.

 

Yet, perhaps Grand Haven’s biggest mistake could’ve been prevented.

 

“We had 33 turnovers,” Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. “You’re not going to beat many teams turning the ball over 33 times.”

 

The Bucs add a loss to their record, making them 6-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play. East Kentwood remains undefeated both overall and in conference play also.

 

“We are going to be ready for the next time we play them,” Keyser said. “We have accepted the fact that Esther and Kelly will be out for a good portion of our season and instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we have decided to push beyond that.”

 

What’s Next: The Lady Bucs return to GHHS Fieldhouse for their Jan. 12 game next Friday against West Ottawa at 6 p.m.

 

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About the Writer
Sam Woiteshek, Sports editor

Junior Sam Woiteshek is back and better than ever in his second year on staff, serving as the Blade’s co-sports editor this time around. As a lifelong sports fan, Sam loves following the Michigan Wolverines and the Green Bay Packers, as well as the Chicago Blackhawks and the Grand Haven Buccaneers. In the summers, Sam can often be found out on a golf course, as he is an avid golfer and is on the Bucs golf team. Sam also enjoys duck hunting, fantasy football, and hanging out with family and friends. He is a master of word-searches and most likely can win in a game of chess. He also prides himself on his pizza-eating abilities and his talent of cooking Ramen noodles. Sam is excited to partake in leading the sports team this year, hopefully to the journalism equivalent of a Super Bowl. He is also eager to share some of his sports wisdom with the students of GHHS and will continue to deliver award-winning columns to his readers.

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Lady Bucs unable to knock off top-seeded Falcons on Bucs Pride night