HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — It was a play that they had never practiced before, and now it’s a play they will never forget.
The Hudsonville Eagles defeated the Forest Hills Northern Huskies in overtime yesterday in a MHSAA Class A Regional Semifinal. However, the game never would’ve made it to overtime had Brent Hibbitts and Cody Stuive not pulled off a play that replicated the Christian Laettner-Grant Hill play for Duke against Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA tournament.
“My Dad and I are huge Duke fans,” said sophomore Brent Hibbitts. “So last night when I got back home, my dad brought that up and I thought it was just like it.”
After FHN scored with 1.5 seconds left to take a two-point lead, Hudsonville called timeout. Eagles head coach Eric Elliott drew up the first play that came to mind.
“At that point you’re thinking with one-and-a-half seconds it doesn’t sound like a lot of time,” said Elliott. “In basketball-talk, you catch and you got one dribble. So it was just how do we get it into our guy’s hands within the three-point line so we can get a clean shot up.”
The call was to have Hibbitts throw heave an in-bounds pass about 75 feet to Stuive, who initially dropped the pass, but collected it fast enough to get a shot off just before the buzzer. When the ball went through the hoop, euphoria broke out in Cedar Springs.
“I just freaked out,” said Cody Stuive. “I just ran to the bench and was giving people hugs. Then I realized that now we have to win in overtime.”
Hudsonville beat Forest Hills Northern 64-60. The Eagles will play Muskegon for the Regional Title on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in Cedar Springs.