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5 things to watch this week

Tribune Staff • Dec 5, 2017 at 12:25 AM

It is rivalry night Friday at Fruitport High School as both the boys and girls Spring Lake basketball teams will pay the Trojans a visit.

The boys will be fresh on the court in both teams’ second matchup of the season, while the girls teams have been building chemistry through a full slate of games last week. Meanwhile, local wrestling teams will hit the mats for early season competitions, kicking off their quest to rebuild after across-the-board graduation struggles. Let’s take a closer look at the prep slate this week:

What: Fruitport vs. Spring Lake boys basketball

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The Trojan boys will have a chance to prepare for the visiting Lakers, as they are scheduled to take on Holton at home today at 7 p.m. Spring Lake will be seeing their first live action Friday when they head north to Fruitport.

A one-game head start will behoove the Trojans, who finished without a victory last season, but return their entire squad. If a win evades them once again against Holton, expect the home team to be fired up for the rivalry matchup.

The Lakers win outright on paper with three returning three-year starters, a dominant frontcourt full of skilled, long players and a speedy point guard ready to burst onto the scene. The Trojans will have to put together a near-perfect performance to pull off the upset.

What: Fruitport vs. Spring Lake girls basketball

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

The girls will take the court first in another lopsided matchup for Spring Lake. The Lakers have yet to get a win this season, but have challenged themselves with games against Ottawa Hills (35-61) and Caledonia (31-48), and are scheduled to continue the tough road against Rockford at home tonight (7 p.m.).

Fruitport fell similarly in their season opener to Coopersville (68-17), but bounced back for a victory over Orchard View. Coach Bob German cited defense as the Trojans’ strength this season, which they took to heart in their 33-15 win. They will test themselves once again tonight on the road against Zeeland East.

Offensive efficiency will be a key for Fruitport on Friday, as no amount of defense is likely to keep the Lakers length and speed off the board.

What: Grand Haven vs. Mona Shores boys basketball

When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Similarly, the Grand Haven boys team will get their first live action Friday night as they travel to Mona Shores, while the girls will look to continue their early season success against the Sailors in their fourth game of the year.

The Buccaneer boys will be testing the limits of small ball without a tried and true center to run the post after graduating long-time starter and paint presence Ross Koella. An abundance of speed on the roster and a few locked-in shooters will have to be the difference if they want to get past a tough home opener.

Mona Shores will have enjoyed one game before visiting Grand Haven Fieldhouse in a road-matchup with Holland tonight.

Grand Haven took both of last season’s meetings with a win in a similar situation in the first week of the season (62-59), before eliminating Mona Shores in the opening round of the district tournament (57-38).

What: Grand Haven vs. Mona Shores girls basketball

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

The girls game will be a matchup of conference-title hopefuls as Mona Shores will look to take their fifth straight O-K Black Conference title, and Grand Haven aims to break into the O-K Red conversation with a team of veterans.

The Sailors title defense is off to a rough start after graduating 2016’s Miss Basketball Jordan Walker and losing her backcourt buddy Alyza Winston to Muskegon via transfer.

In the face of rebuilding a dynasty, Mona Shores dropped their season opener to the defending O-K Blue champs Grand Rapids Catholic Central (18-36) in their only matchup so far this year.

What: Holland, Cedar Springs wrestling invites

When: Wednesday, 5 p.m.

All three local wrestling teams will be in action Wednesday, as Grand Haven and Spring Lake visit the Holland Invitational while Fruitport takes on Cedar Springs.

The Laker grapplers already have a contest under their belts after visiting Mona Shores on Dec. 1. The Trojans and Bucs will be opening their seasons Wednesday.

Grand Haven opens the season searching for stars, as four of their five state-championship qualifiers were lost to graduation last spring. Now senior Daniel Guillen will look to lead the group in their opening contest.

The Lakers also lost their leader on the matt to graduation in Josef Hissom. The Bucs and Lakers hit the floor at Holland High School at 5 p.m.

Fruitport also graduated their standout state qualifier in Levi Six, but returns the other half of their state finals team in senior Zach Sykes and will hope to build on his experience at the Palace of Auburn Hills last year as they travel to Cedar Springs for their first match of the season.

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