EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Even after an extraordinary victory, the Grand Haven Buccaneers had their minds elsewhere.
One day after five students were injured in a major crash , Shar'Rae Davis' layup with nine seconds left gave Grand Haven a 54-53 victory over Grosse Pointe South in the Class A championship Saturday.
During the celebration, one of the Buccaneers held up a sign asking for prayers for their classmates.
Friday "was certainly a devastating, emotional day," coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. "There were a lot of tears, but eventually we had to get the girls to focus on the only things we could control."
Abby Cole, who led Grand Haven with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight blocks, agreed with her coach.
"We had to go out and play, but we wanted to win the game for them," Cole said. "The news sounds better today. It's going to be a long recovery, but we're hoping they will all be OK."
The Blue Devils (23-4) led by as many as 18 in the third quarter before the Buccaneers (27-1) rallied for the dramatic win.
South led 44-32 as the fourth period opened. The Buccaneers, however, took advantage of turnovers, and six straight points from Abby Cole cut the lead to four with seven minutes left.
Cole's running hook made it 50-49 with 2:23 left, and Carmen Engel's free throws gave Grand Haven the lead with 1:10 left. After another turnover -- South's seventh of the quarter -- Jordan Keefe split a pair of free throws.
"There's no question that the turnovers really hurt us down the stretch," South coach Kevin Richards said. "In our last few games, we've had trouble with pressure, and today it caught up with us."
Cierra Rice answered with a three-point play with 16.3 seconds, putting South back in front, but Davis beat the defense down the floor for the winner.
"I got down the floor so fast that I didn't even see any of my teammates," she said. "My goal was to get to the rim, and when I did that, I knew I was either going to get fouled or score."
With all of the last-minute scoring, Davis had lost track of the score and didn't realize what had happened when Rice's desperation shot hit the bottom of the backboard at the end of the game.
"For some reason, I thought the game was tied," she said. "I saw Abby jump, saw the shot miss, and then I heard the horn and everyone was running at me. I had to look at the scoreboard to realize we had won. I'm still not sure I believe it."
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