By John Jarvi
Local Sports Journal

GRAND HAVEN — The Grand Haven boys basketball team couldn’t have started its season in a more appropriate way.

The school honored its former coach, the late Steve Hewitt, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, with a moment of silence before Tuesday’s game. Then the Bucs took the court and handed the Mona Shores Sailors a 64-42 loss in a non-league game.

No. 24 Kobe Burse looks to pick up the loose ball from Grand Haven's Ross Koella. Photo/Carol Cooper

No. 24 Kobe Burse looks to pick up the loose ball from Grand Haven’s Ross Koella. Photo/Carol Cooper

The game marked the varsity debut for Grand Haven Coach Bob Eidson, the long-time junior varsity coach in the program.

“This (group) is what Steve was looking forward to,” Eidson said of his team. “We’re pushing the job a little bit more, and the second half we did a better job of making decisions.”

The final statistics reflected Grand Haven’s performance against a very young Mona Shores team, which dropped to 0-2. The Buccaneers made only nine turnovers and offset those with 12 assists during the game.

Grand Haven hit 21 of its 38 field goal tries and sank three of 10 tries from 3-point range. The Buccaneers also had 35 rebounds. Ross Koella grabbed eight of the rebounds with another seven going to Adam Abraham.

Tyler Wiedeman had four assists and three steals while Drew Hewitt, Steve’s son, tossed in a team-high 13 points and had three assists for Grand Haven. B.J. Nahal added 12 points for the Buccaneers.

“I loved the way our kids shared the ball with each other,” Eidson said. “I was very disappointed in our defensive rebounding, though.”

BJ Nahal takes a shot for Grand Haven. Photo/Carol Cooper

BJ Nahal takes a shot for Grand Haven. Photo/Carol Cooper

The loss left Mona Shores trying to regroup with a very young roster. The Sailors play a lot of juniors and have to wait for the football team’s  star football quarterback, Tyree Jackson, to finish recovering from a dislocated knee injury.

Jackson has started light workouts, but he isn’t expected to be available until probably after Christmas.

“I’ve only got one starter back as we lost 11 seniors,” said Mona Shores coach Gene Gifford. “We had some turnovers that were unforced, and we made the wrong choice on passes, but it was progress.”

Kobe Burse had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Mona Shores while Tyler Trovinger had 11 points for the Sailors. Guard Darece Roberson chipped in eight points and nine rebounds.

After falling behind 11-7 and 30-20 after the first two quarters, the Sailors had the margin down to six points late in the third quarter, only to be outscored 26-10 during the last 10 minutes of the game.