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5 Things to Watch this Week

Josh VanDyke • Dec 12, 2016 at 12:30 PM

The weather outside might be frightful, but the prep sports calendar this week looks delightful.

Boys and girls basketball are just getting started and there are already plenty of entertaining non-conference games on the schedule, including the annual Drawbridge Classic between the Grand Haven and Spring Lake boys basketball teams.

Here are just a few prep sports events you won’t want to miss this week.

Spring Lake boys basketball at Rockford

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Rockford High School

The Spring Lake boys basketball team is off a great start so far this season. The Lakers trounced Montague (75-42) and rival Fruitport (68-23) last week, but they will likely be underdogs in both of their games this week.

Spring Lake begins its O-K Red Conference doubleheader with a visit to Rockford on Tuesday night. The Rams have struggled out of the gates, with losses to Grand Rapids Christian (55-37) and Muskegon (57-42), but will be looking to right the ship at home.

Spring Lake has enjoyed a balanced offensive attack with five players scoring double-digit points in the season opener and that trend seems likely to continue throughout the season. Senior guard Cam Ball, junior wing Jack Van Wingen and junior center Sam Johnson will be key performers for the Lakers as they try and stack up with a Class A powerhouse on the road.

Grand Haven wrestling vs. West Ottawa

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven High School

The Grand Haven wrestling team dropped its season opening match against fifth-ranked Whitehall last Wednesday, 41-22.

Senior Caleb Braley scored a 16-2 major decision at the 125-pound division, while Daniel Guillen added a pinfall win at 140.

Also adding wins for the Buccaneers were: Allen Rademaker at 152 lbs. (12-6 decision), Drake Morley at 215 lbs. (pinfall at 1:16) and Collin Monsma at 285 lbs. with an 8-2 decision.

Grand Haven looks to rebound against O-K Red Conference rival West Ottawa at home on Wednesday. The last time these two teams met, Grand Haven edged the Panthers, 40-27, in the Division 1 team district finals.

GH/SL hockey vs. West Ottawa

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Lakeshore Sports Centre in Muskegon

The Grand Haven/Spring Lake co-op hockey team has started the season 2-4 with wins over Jenison (7-2) and Grand Rapids West Catholic (3-0) and losses to Mattawan (5-4), East Grand Rapids (6-1), Byron Center (2-0) and Kalamazoo United (3-1).

Alex Franczek (four goals, two assists) and Lucas Underwood (three goals, three assists) lead the team in points with six.

Branden Beeler (two), Austin Fox (two), Trey Bledsoe (one), Ales Weykamp (one), Ethan Pennington (one) and Isaac Moblo (one) have also lit the lamp so far this winter for the Buccaneers.

Finn Bylsma (0-3, .588 save percentage) and Mika Byar (2-1, .895 save percentage) have split time in net for Grand Haven.

West Ottawa sits at 4-3 overall with wins over Tri-Valley Titans (3-2), Kalamazoo Eagles (8-0), Grand Blanc (4-2) and Davison (1-0) and losses to Bay City Wolves (4-2), Rockford (4-1) and Kalamazoo United (3-2).

Grand Haven boys basketball at Spring Lake

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Spring Lake High School

The Grand Haven and Spring Lake boys basketball teams will meet again for what has become an annual event in the Tri-Cities area. The Drawbridge Classic pits the Buccaneers against the Lakers again this winter, with both teams looking like conference and district title contenders.

Grand Haven will enjoy a long week of practice leading into the showdown, while the Lakers will be tested by Rockford on Tuesday. Spring Lake will enjoy home-court advantage in Friday’s game. The Lakers have won two straight contests against Grand Haven when the two teams have met at Spring Lake High School.

Last year, a senior-laden Buccaneers squad routed their rivals from across the bridge in a 63-38 home win. Grand Haven will need another big performance from senior wing Zac Holman, who scored 32 points in the team’s season opening win over Mona Shores last Friday, if they are going to pull off the road win. Senior center Ross Koella and senior forward Drew Van Andel will also be counted upon to add some firepower to a young Bucs team.

West Michigan Swim Relays

When: Friday-Saturday

Where: Hudsonville High School

Teams: Grand Haven, Hudsonville, Jenison, Forest Hills, East Kentwood, Grandville, Holland, Northview, East Grand Rapids.

The Buccaneers will travel to Hudsonville High School for a light-hearted all-relay competition this weekend in an attempt to right the ship after capsizing at Spring Lake last week.

The West Michigan Relay meet features exclusively relay events, including those swum in MHSAA competition and other alternative relays like the 200-yard backstroke relay or the 4x100 individual medley relay.

In their meet against Spring Lake, Grant Ruster secured the Bucs’ first state cut of the year in the 200 I.M. The boys will look to get their competitive relay times a little closer to the Division 1 cut times this weekend.

The Bucs’ next competitive meet comes against Hamilton High School after Christmas break on Jan. 3.

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