By Mike Mattson
Local Sports Journal
GRAND HAVEN – There’s no place like home for the Grand Haven boys’ basketball team.
The Buccaneers defeated Mona Shores 54-42 Friday night for their second straight home win of the young season.
“It’s nice after we started 1-2 last year and lost our first home game,” said Haven guard Sean Steffel, who led the Bucs with 18 points and six rebounds. “To start 2-0 with two wins at home is definitely nice.”
Haven, which beat Holland Christian 61-52 in its season opener Tuesday, led from start to finish against the Sailors (1-1).
Ty VanWieren gave Haven a nice 1-2 punch against Shores as he added 16 points. Kevin LaCroix also grabbed seven rebounds for the winners.
The Bucs relied on a patient offense, solid half-court defense and the ability to handle the Sailors’ constant full-court pressure.
“I’m thrilled because I think Mona Shores is much improved,” Haven coach Steve Hewitt said about his team’s second straight victory. “We had two home games to start out the year. It was important for us to start out well.”
Haven, which outrebounded the bigger Sailors 26-23, had only nine turnovers.
The Bucs led 14-6 after one quarter and 22-18 at halftime.
Haven took control in the second half with a 7-2 run to open the third quarter and stretched the margin to 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Shores, fueled by Marquon Sargent, crept within six points midway through the last quarter. Sargent scored eight of his team-high 12 points in the last eight minutes.
Logan Haugh and Adam Rayner each added nine points for the Sailors.
Shores opened the season with a 71-51 win over Whitehall, but the Sailors had a difficult time scoring and defending the Bucs in the half court.
“They played Grand Haven basketball,” Shores’ coach Nick Bronsema said. “They rock you to sleep with their offense. They outplayed us tonight. We will learn from this.”