Grand Haven used an inspired second half of basketball, with clutch free throw shooting in the fourth quarter, to rally past Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills 51-45 on Monday in its Class A district opener.
Tyler Wiedemann and Nic Holwerda led the turnaround for the Bucs, who trailed 27-18 at halftime and 38-32 after the third quarter.
Weidemann scored 13 of his 18 points, and Holwerda put in 13 of his 17, in the second half.
“The big thing was rebounds and kids stepping up,” said Grand Haven coach Bob Eidson, whose team was missing big men Adam Abrahams (concussion) and Ross Koella (stomach flu). “They knew what they had to overcome and everyone just felt good about it. The kids were so pumped.”
Grand Haven came through at the free throw line in the fourth quarter, making 7 of 9. Leading at the line was sophomore forward Zac Holman, who was 3-for-4 in the fourth and made 5 of 6 on the night. Holman also finished with seven rebounds.
The Bucs struggled around the basket in the first half against the Knights, who outrebounded Grand Haven 21-10, with nine on the offensive end.
Grand Haven held the Knights to just three offensive rebounds in the second half and finished with a 31-28 overall edge on the boards.
“We were just getting pounded in the first half and our kids just stepped up and did what they knew they had to do,” Eidson said.
Holwerda finished with 10 rebounds while Zach Sinke pulled down six.