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5 Things to Watch this Week

Josh VanDyke • Jan 10, 2017 at 9:30 AM

For most of the winter sports, the conference schedule is just kicking off. That means every game, invitational or dual carries extra weight toward determining which team will be crowned conference champions at the end of the season.

Spring Lake boys basketball at Grand Rapids Catholic Central

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Where: Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School

The Spring Lake boys basketball team won’t have to wait long to see how they stack up in its new league. Grand Rapids Catholic Central, a preseason favorite to win the O-K Blue Conference this season, is coming off a 67-43 win over Sparta in its conference opener.

Forward Jacob Polakovich and wing Austin Braun have helped lead the Cougars to a 5-0 record thus far with impressive wins over East Grand Rapids (43-38), Detroit Loyola (70-60) and Muskegon Catholic Central (69-42).

If Spring Lake can dial it up on defense and start the game fast offensively, they could be leaving Grand Rapids tonight as the team to beat in the O-K Blue Conference.

Grand Haven wrestling at Rockford

When: Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Where: Rockford High School

After a 10-hour marathon of wrestling at the Adam Provencal Invitational on Saturday, the Grand Haven wrestling team prepares for arguably its most important O-K Red Conference dual match of the season — a road contest at Rockford.

The Buccaneers lost to the Rams by two points in last season’s matchup, and according to head coach Vince Gervais, they feel like they let one slip away.

Look for Drake Morley at the 215-pound division and Daniel Guillen at 130 pounds to anchor the Buccaneer lineup, with Allen Radenmaker (145), Collin Monsma (285), Brian Batten (152), Cody Miller (112) and Caleb Braley (119) being pivotal spots in Grand Haven’s matchup with the Rams.

Grand Haven swimming at West Ottawa

When: Thursday, 6 p.m.

Where: West Ottawa High School

The Grand Haven swimming and diving team is coming off a second-place finish at the Rockford Invitational last Saturday.

Grand Haven finished with 566 points, behind first-place Rockford with 691 and narrowly ahead of Jenison, who finished with 549 points.

Next up for the Buccaneers is a date with O-K Red Conference favorite West Ottawa on Thursday.

If Grand Haven is going to upset the Panthers, they will need similar performances from standout Jordan DeVries, who headlined the Bucs’ effort at Rockford.

Individually, DeVries took first overall in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.85 seconds as well as in the 50 freestyle race in 22.76.

Along with his individual wins, DeVries anchored Grand Haven’s 200 freestyle relay to victory in 1 minute, 33.73 seconds, splitting 22.27 on the final leg. Grant Ruster, Matt Fahey, and Jackson Hamm joined DeVries in the gold-medal performance.

Grand Haven hockey vs. Jenison

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Lakeshore Sports Centre

The Grand Haven/Spring Lake co-op hockey team appears to have turned a corner as the calendar turned to 2017. The Buccaneers are now 2-0 in 2017 with a narrow road win over Hudsonville (3-2) last Friday and blowout win over Kenowa Hills (9-2) on Saturday.

Grand Haven (6-5 overall, 5-1 Tier 3) hosts Jenison (7-4 overall, 5-1 Tier 3) this Friday in a battle for top billing in Tier 3.

Spring Lake’s Branden Beeler and Grand Haven’s Trey Bledsoe have been top point scorers for the team as of late. Beeler scored five goals over the weekend, while Bledsoe added four points in the same span.

The Legends Wrestling Invitational

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.

Where: Fruitport High School

Teams: Fruitport, Grandville, Kelloggsville, Muskegon Catholic Central, Hamilton, Lowell, Rockford, Hastings, Mona Shores, Watervliet.

The Fruitport wrestling team is a battled-tested bunch as of late. The Trojans have jumped out to a 3-0 record in the O-K Black Conference, competed at the Adam Provencal Invitational and host a double dual Wednesday night.

After all that, the squad will host “The Legends Invitational” on Saturday with an impressive field of teams expected in attendance.

At the Adam Provencal Invitational, the scrappy Trojans squad finished sixth overall with 127 points.

Senior Levi Six highlighted the day for Fruitport, finishing runner-up in his 152-pound division.

Terel Johnson (160), Crue Cooper (171), Dallas Rogers (285), and Zach Sykes (103) all added top-four finishes to help the Trojans finish in the top half of the team standings.

With plenty of bigger schools in the field for Saturday’s event at Fruitport High School, expect the young Trojans squad to only get better from testing themselves against some of the best programs in the area.

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