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5 Things to Watch This Week

Josh VanDyke • Feb 14, 2017 at 6:30 AM

The postseason is officially underway for some winter sports, while the final lap of the regular season begins for others.

This week’s slate of prep sports action includes win-or-go-home scenarios, conference supremacy, and postseason positioning.

Here are just a few events that you won’t want to miss this week:

Spring Lake swimming at Grand Rapids Christian

When: Today, 6 p.m.

Where: Venema Aquatic Center

The Spring Lake swim and dive team will take on Grand Rapids Christian on the road at Calvin College’s Venema Aquatic Center tonight. In a down year for the Eagles, this meet will be all about the Lakers.

With state cuts taken care of for the top tier of Spring Lake’s team, a diver that is already regional bound, school records broken and pool records dominated, the Lakers will be spreading icing on their cake at this point in the season.

This will be the final regular season dual meet for Spring Lake who will look to get as many swimmers qualified for state meet before their conference championship meet. Despite their already loaded team, there are plenty of boys on the bubble who could fill out the depth of their championship squad, an important piece of a potentially top-10 team.

The Lakers have defeated all but two Division 3 opponents they have taken on this season, in Holland Christian and East Grand Rapids. They will look to add another team name to that last after tonight’s competition.

Grand Haven boys basketball vs. West Ottawa

When: Tonight, 7 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven Fieldhouse

The Grand Haven boys basketball team is currently riding a five-game winning streak and looking to make the O-K Red Conference race interesting with a potential upset over No. 9-ranked West Ottawa tonight.

However, the Panthers have collected a few wins of their own as of late, as they currently hold an 11-game winning streak that includes a 68-45 road win over the Bucs on Jan. 17.

West Ottawa got off to a hot-shooting start in that contest, so perimeter defense and rebounding will likely be the difference in this rematch. A loss to the Panthers by Grand Haven would likely close out the conference race with only three league games remaining after Tuesday’s tilt.

Team Wrestling Regionals

When: Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Where: Forest Hills Central and Sparta High Schools

The wrestling postseason reaches the regional round Wednesday with teams across the state battling to keep their collective seasons alive.

The Grand Haven wrestling team is coming off its fourth straight team district title with wins over West Ottawa (54-18) and Mona Shores (41-27) last Thursday. The road gets immensely more challenging at the regional with Grandville being the Buccaneers first roadblock.

The Bulldogs defeated Grand Haven, 48-21, back on Feb. 1. The Buccaneers effort is headlined by senior Drake Morley, who is coming off an individual district championship at 215-pounds. Other wrestlers to watch for are Daniel Guillen (130), Caleb Braley (119) and Cody Miller (112).

If the Buccaneers advance past Grandville, they would run into either Rockford or Caledonia in the regional finals.

Fruitport also advanced to the team regional round with wins over Kenowa Hills (47-27) and Coopersville (54-24) last Wednesday. The Trojans reclaimed the district championship trophy after coming up short in the last two seasons.

Like Grand Haven, the Trojans will likely be the underdogs against a talented Lowell squad that is the top-ranked team in Division 2 and features 10 individual state-ranked performers.

Zach Sykes leads the charge for the Trojans at 103 pounds, while Levi Six (152), Dallas Rogers (285), Derek Monje (215) and Bailey Lynn (145) all hold important spots in the lineup for Fruitport.

If the Trojans pull off the upset in the regional semifinals, they would face the winner of Greenville and rival Reeths-Puffer in the regional final match.

Spring Lake basketball at Coopersville

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Where: Coopersville High School

The Spring Lake boys and girls basketball squads will head to Coopersville on Friday for a pair of O-K Blue Conference clashes. While the conference races are all but over in both leagues, a road win over a quality opponent like Coopersville would help both teams gain some confidence as they turn their attention toward a potential playoff push.

On the boys’ side, the Lakers will be looking for revenge. The Broncos defeated Spring Lake, 61-52, on Jan. 20 and also knocked the Lakers out of the playoffs last March. Senior point guard Cam Ball and junior center Sam Johnson have been the go-to performers for the Lakers all season, but juniors Jack VanWingen and Griffin Lorimer, along with seniors Isaiah Pierce and Craig Whittaker, have proven they can score in bunches, as well.

On the girls’ side, Coopersville will be the ones looking for vengeance, as they dropped a 52-42 decision to the Lakers earlier this season. Senior point guard Reiko Johnson continues to be the floor general for the Lakers, while sophomore forwards Jenna Core and Madeline Zenas seem to be improving each game. Both underclassmen scored double-digit points in Friday’s win over Sparta and look to give the Lakers a dominant frontcourt duo moving forward.

Individual Wrestling Regionals

When: Saturday, 9:30 a.m.

Where: Byron Center and Pinckney high schools

After the dust settles on the team regional round, some of the individual wrestlers will be back on the mat for the individual regional competition on Saturday.

For Grand Haven, Drake Morley (215), Bryan Batten (152), Caleb Braley (119), Cody Miller (112), Collin Monsma (285) and Daniel Guillen (130) will compete at the Division 1 regional at Pinckney High School.

At Byron Center, Fruitport’s Zach Sykes (103), Levi Six (152) and Dallas Rogers (285), along with Spring Lake senior Josef Hissom (171) will compete at the Division 2 individual regional.

The top four finishers in each weight class will advance to the individual state finals at the Palace of Auburn Hills on March 2.

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