By John Jarvi
Local Sports Journal

GRAND HAVEN — Mona Shores girls’ basketball coach Brad Kurth got the victory he wanted Friday night when the Sailors turned back the host Grand Haven Buccaneers 38-31 in a non-league game between two rival squads.

Grand Haven had an early 2-0 lead and the teams had three tied scores in the first half, but the Buccaneers let a 17-16 halftime lead slip away.

Mona Shores' Jordan Walker pressures Grand Haven's Amanda Merz. Photo/Carol Cooper

Mona Shores’ Jordan Walker pressures Grand Haven’s Amanda Merz. Photo/Carol Cooper

Mona Shores, now 2-0, outscored Grand Haven 14-6 in the third quarter to take a 30-23 lead and maintained at least a five-point lead the rest of the way.

“We uglied each other,” said Kurth, whose team continued its recent dominance of Grand Haven after beating the Bucs twice last season. “Whoever makes more gutsy plays at the end wins, and I think we made a few more gutsy plays.”

Mona Shores showed team balance on offense. Jordan Walker had the high in scoring with 12 points, while Shamara Tumblin had 10 points and Kelsey Wolffis nine.

Wolffis and Walker had 10 rebounds apiece for the Sailors, who had a 31-22 edge in that department. Walker added five steals on the defensive end.

Amanda Merz, a three-year starter, had 10 points for Grand Haven, which fell to 1-3. Sophia Newhouse added six points for Grand Haven.

Grand Haven's Lauren Strong tries to fight the ball away from Jenna Matthews. Photo/Carol Cooper

Grand Haven’s Lauren Strong tries to fight the ball away from Jenna Matthews. Photo/Carol Cooper

Mona Shores had a big edge at the free-throw line, making 14 of 23 attempts while the Bucs made four of their nine tries.