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5 Things to Watch this Week

Tribune Staff • Updated Jan 15, 2018 at 11:56 PM

As the frigid winter weather returns to the Lakeshore, the prep sports scene continues to smolder with hotly contested conference matchups, pivotal playoff previews and some local showcases.

There are plenty of basketball, bowling, hockey and swimming events to choose from, but here is a look at just a few events nearby that you should check out this week.

Spring Lake swim vs. East Grand Rapids

When: Today, 6 p.m.

Where: Spring Lake Aquatic Center

The Spring Lake swim and dive team has been using individual performances to go toe-to-toe with some Division 1 programs over the course of the season, but a lack of team depth has resulted in mostly losses for the Lakers.

Now, the headstrong Spring Lake squad takes on a Division 3 rival in East Grand Rapids in a Tuesday night showdown at the Spring Lake Aquatic Center.

At last year's Division 3 state meet, the Pioneers finished second, while the Lakers finished fifth. A win over EGR tonight could help propel Spring Lake to an even more impressive finish at this year's state meet.

Spring Lake's 200-yard medley relay team of Joey Wachter, Will Brown, K.J. Losee and Cam Peel are coming off a strong showing against Grand Haven, in which the foursome recorded a time of 1:39.18.

Other races to watch include: Wachter in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke, Losee in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle, Peel in the 50 and 100 freestyle, Noah Locascio in the 1-meter diving event, Fogel in the 100 butterfly, Brown in the 100 breaststroke and the 400 freestyle relay team of Losee, Fogel, Wachter and Peel.

Grand Haven bowling vs. Hudsonville

When: Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.

Where: Starlite Lanes

The Grand Haven boys and girls bowling teams will jump into competition this week with two conference clashes. The Buccaneers traveled to Grandville on Monday and will host O-K Red Conference contender Hudsonville on Wednesday.

The Eagle boys squad finished fifth at last year's Division 1 state meet, two spots ahead of the Buccaneers. Brendan Bentley returns as the team's top performer, after finishing seventh overall at last year's individual state tournament.

The Hudsonville girls team finished sixth at last year's Division 1 regionals, one spot ahead of the Grand Haven girls squad. Tanneill Dejongh returns to lead the Eagles, after qualifying for the individual state tournament as a junior.

For Grand Haven, both the boys and girls squads are taking aim at conference championships. The boys return a deep and talented core group, while the girls have plenty of individual standouts that could make the team a collective contender in the league race.

Bowlers to watch on the boys' side are junior Logan Batka, senior Maverick Green, junior Jonathan Garland and junior Cameron Brenberger.

On the girls' side, bowlers to watch include junior Abby House, junior Kaleigh Batka, freshman Alexis Thompson and freshman Mercedes Mitchell.

WMC girls basketball at Ludington

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

Where: Ludington High School

The Western Michigan Christian girls basketball team will have a challenging two-day stretch this week, as they take on Ludington and Spring Lake in back-to-back days. The first matchup with the Orioles will be a road contest with major Lakes Eight Conference ramifications.

Both the Warriors and Orioles are a perfect 4-0 in league play so far this season, and whichever team comes away with a win Friday night will have a leg up in the conference race.

For the Warriors, senior center Aubrey Goorman will be the player to watch. She is coming off back-to-back 20-plus point performances last week in wins over Fruitport Calvary Christian and Orchard View.

For Ludington, Mackenzie Howe leads the way. Against Muskegon Catholic Central on Friday, Howe scored a game-high 21 points. The Orioles also boast talented playmakers such as Lindsay Holmes and Zoe Zartarga, who both reached double digits in scoring against the Crusaders.

Spring Lake basketball at Western Michigan Christian

When: Saturday

Where: Western Michigan Christian High School

The Spring Lake boys and girls basketball teams cap off a busy week of road games with a hoops marathon at Western Michigan Christian High School on Saturday.

After O-K Blue Conference clashes at Coopersville on Tuesday and Grand Rapids West Catholic on Friday, the Laker boys squad will look to make a statement against a local team that will be looking for a big upset win in front of its home crowd.

At 7-2 overall, Spring Lake is hoping to build toward another deep tournament run in March. A 3-0 stand this week would certainly do the group wonders in terms of confidence and help put the program back in conference title contention.

The Lakers will have a size advantage over the Warriors with their big three of Sam Johnson, Griffin Lorimer, and Jack VanWingen. If WMC isn't able to keep the Lakers off the glass, this one could be a lopsided affair.

On the girls' side, the Lakers are trying to bounce back from some unfortunate breaks in tight games. Spring Lake is 3-6 on the season, but five of their losses have come by single digits and four of those losses were by four points or less.

The highlight of this matchup will be the twin towers of Spring Lake forwards Madeline Zenas and Jenna Core against the dynamic duo of Aubrey Goorman and Anna Sytsema of Western Michigan Christian.

Grand Haven/Spring Lake hockey vs. Lowell/Caledonia

When: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Lakeshore Sports Centre

After a 6-game winning streak, the Grand Haven-Spring Lake co-op hockey team has gone 0-2-1 in their last three games.

After a tilt with O-K Tier 2-leading West Ottawa (9-3) on Wednesday, the Buccaneers will host another Tier 2 squad in the Lowell/Caledonia co-op squad that is 5-8-1 entering the week.

Ethan Pinto leads the Red Arrows with 20 points on the season, while Austin Whaley (15 points) and Carter Osborn (11 points) are also players to watch.

For Grand Haven/Spring Lake, Austin Fox (17 points) leads the team in points, while Trevor Kalis (14 points), Ethan Pennington (12 points) and Cooper Fox (11 points) are also key playmakers.

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