Both teams had trouble with scoring in the second quarter, scoring a combined 11 points. West Ottawa junior Cayia Dewitt hit a 3-pointer with five seconds remaining to make it a one-point deficit at halftime, 15-14.
But the Buccaneers came out with a hot shooting display to start the second half, scoring three straight buckets to take a 21-14 lead. Their defense shut down the Panthers the rest of the way, as they hung on for a 35-28 win.
“I thought we came out and did better in the third quarter, obviously, we beat that team 50-29 a month ago,” said Grand Haven coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer. “We didn’t play well tonight, I thought they played well, they’re playing better. I guess if you can win on the road in the O-K Red and not play well, it’s a good win. “I thought we did better in the second half, though. “I thought the top of our zone caused them some problems.”
Grand Haven (11-6, 5-4 O-K Red) also had a quick start to the game as well, with a bucket just five seconds into the game. The two teams exchanged the lead once early. West Ottawa (6-11, 2-7 OK Red) came back down five points to make it a two-point game at the end of the first quarter, down 10-8.
“We just weren’t able to finish around the rim, get those last couple executions, couple bad turnovers, just frozen,” West Ottawa coach Jeff Bauer said. “It was better, but we definitely hurt ourselves with missed execution and just being a little bit timid. Defensively, I thought we were phenomenal. The last two outings have been the other way around. I thought we defended great, we just can’t seem to put both sides of the ball together.”
Two free throws were the lone buckets in the third quarter for the Panthers by Natalie Dunn, but by then, the Buccaneers were up by 10 points.
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