The Spring Lake girls golf team traveled to L.E. Kaufman Golf Course in Wyoming to finish off their O-K Blue Conference title defense, winning the league for the second time in their second year as a member.
The Lakers finished with a total score of 363 strokes over the 18-hole event.
Conference newcomer NorthPointe Christian finished second with 388 strokes, ahead of third-place Catholic Central at 398, Coopersville at 402, West Catholic at 410, Allendale at 427 and Comstock Park at 442, Sparta could not compete due to roster limitations.
The final victory put Spring Lake 280 total strokes ahead of second-place NorthPointe. In the final standings, the Lakers finished with 80 points, ahead of NorthPointe at 67 and Coopersville with 60.
“It is true, this is special,” Spring Lake head coach George Bitner said. “This being our second in a row in two years in the league is nice. This is the toughest public course in the state, so I give them credit for playing a very tough course, but they could have played better.”
While Bitner wasn’t thrilled with his players’ scores, they were good enough to dominate the leaderboard Wednesday.
Hannah Klein earned first-medalist honors, shooting an 81 on the day. Madelyn Nelson, who took second overall at 86, followed close behind. Phoebe Saunders also earned a medal for her fourth-place 89.
The effort Wednesday secured All-Conference honors for those three, as Nelson finished with the lowest total score in the O-K Blue, followed by Klein in second and Saunders in fourth.
Kate Galloway finished her round Wednesday at 107, Kayla Raschke at 108 and Alana Sprague rounded out the Lakers’ varsity squad at 111.
“We won ugly, again,” Bitner said of the effort Wednesday. “If someone cards a double (bogey) or worse, I call it an ugly. This was probably our worst round all year for uglies.
“Now, a lot of coaches would pay for that score, but because of our talent, I was frustrated. We are capable of much more, and have a lot more to accomplish this year.”
The girls will continue to hone their skills, and hope to play with some stronger competition to ready themselves for the state meet. They take on the Reeths-Puffer Invitational on Oct. 10 as a final tune up for the postseason.
Grand Haven tennis falls to Hudsonville
The Grand Haven boys tennis team dropped a close match with O-K Red Conference foe Hudsonville on the road Wednesday, 3-5.
The Bucs’ singles flights led the way, taking three of four flight victories. Riley Wilton at No. 3 singles came in with the quickest performance, defeating his opponent in two sets, 6-1, 6-1.
Noah Bachmann finished next with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over a previously unbeaten O-K Red player.
The match of the day came at No. 2 singles, as Spencer Sortman took on a 28-1 opponent. He fell in Set 1, 6-3, but flipped the script in sets 2 and 3, winning 6-3, 6-1.
Nathan Sexton fell in a tight No. 4 singles match, 6-4, 7-5.
The Eagles swept the doubles flights. At No. 1 doubles, Dylan Shenefield was joined by Corbin Johnson due to illness, the temporary pair fell in two sets. The No. 2 doubles team of Chris Akselberg and Weston Taylor briefly led in their second set, but eventually fell in straight sets, while the Grand Haven Nos. 3 and 4 doubles showed some flashes of good points, but not enough to keep up with a very deep Hudsonville team.
“Hudsonville is one of the hottest teams in the state, and has even been voted in the top 10 of Division 1,” Grand Haven head coach Chris Wilton said. “Even with the individual losses, many of the players are learning what they need to do to continue to improve and pick up more wins in the long run.”
GH polo wins 5OT thriller
The Grand Haven water polo team earned their victory over district-rival Hudsonville Wednesday, taking the Eagles through four regulation quarters, two standard overtime periods and three sudden-death overtime periods before finishing them off, 8-7.
Grand Haven led 3-1 through the opening quarter. The game was tied 4-4 at halftime, 5-5 through three quarters and 7-7 through regulation time. Neither team scored through the first four overtime periods before the Bucs finished the game with a goal in the fifth overtime.
“As always, Hudsonville was very well prepared,” Grand Haven coach Bill Hamm said. “Fortunately, all the hard work and training to this point paid off, as we outlasted them through five overtimes.
“Sometimes, the pressure of a close game can make it hard to enjoy. The boys were having fun and playing hard out there. Today, we found a way to enjoy a tough, nerve wracking game.”
Senior Mason Fritz led the way with seven of Grand Haven’s eight goals, while keeper Matt Beals anchored the defense with seven steals and 12 saves, including one huge block on a penalty shot in the second sudden-death period.
Junior varsity: The Grand Haven JV team defeated Hudsonville 4-3 Wednesday, in four regulation periods. Four different Bucs scored, while two keepers limited the Eagles with nine saves total on 12 shot attempts. Jack Hardebeck scored the game-winning goal early in the fourth quarter, while Carter Brown led the defense with four steals.