Grand Haven opened up the party with a landslide first quarter. Just 11 seconds into play, Joshua Koornneef grabbed their first goal. Grant Ruster followed just a few minutes later with one if his own. After another by Koornneef, Brigham Thornock scored with just over one minute left in the first quarter, putting the Bucs up, 4-0.
Grandville finally answered for their first goal with 27 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Bucs continued to control the game through the first half of play, allowing just four Bulldog goals to their own 11. Eli VandenBrand made his mark during the second quarter, netting both of his goals for the day. Seth Roffey and Nick Wilson also contributed one goal apiece.
Grandville managed to sneak in two goals of their own, bringing the score to 8-3 at halftime.
The third quarter of play saw more sharing by Grand Haven with three players scoring their first goals of the game. Mason Fritz, Sawyer Hamm and Sam Hankinson all lit the scoreboard.
The Bulldog offense could not keep up, scoring only two goals in the third. They did find a first wind in the fourth, however. Down 11-5 to begin the final period of play, Grandville outscored the Bucs 4-2 down the stretch.
Jon Hoffman scored both of Grand Haven’s fourth quarter goals ensuring the 13-9 victory.
“We shuffled our format around a lot, and we had a lot of guys playing with guys they’re not used to play with,” said Grand Haven coach Bill Hamm.
The Buccaneers find themselves in a tight race for a state-tournament spot, locked in an uncharacteristically close west region.
“We are on the bubble, it’s a tight side our side,” coach Hamm said. “Precision, determination and speed. That’s about it. That’s what we push in practice right now.”
In Michigan water polo, the top four teams in each district move on to the regional tournament. From there, the top four regional teams earn the right to play in the state tournament.
Grand Haven’s No. 9 state ranking puts them just outside of the magic eight teams bound for the big dance, but good play at the right time governs access to the tournament. For now, the Bucs must focus on winning out their district schedule with games against Jenison and Hudsonville still left on the calendar.
Junior varsity: Grand Haven defeated Grandville, 18-10. Sophomore Mark Wilgenburg led the Bucs with five goals, while Aidan Latchaw and Ryan Tongue each added four steals.
GH golf finishes fourth in O-K Red
The Grand Haven girls golf team wrapped up its O-K Red season on Monday. The Bucs finished fourth at the O-K Red Conference postseason tournament, carding a 383 on the day. The finish cements a fourth-place finish in the final standings for the team.
Hudsonville took first-place honors with a 336, while East Kentwood (352) finished second and Caledonia (364) finished third.
Bekah Schrader led the Bucs with a 92, while Ally Kingma added a 93. Jamie Gretzinger added a 99, while Ashley Vorac had a 103.
“Bekah had a great score considering she snapped her driver in half on the driving range,” said Grand Haven coach Roger Glass. “She also earned All-Conference honors and Ashley Vorac was honorable mention, too. We need to have our best day Thursday if we are to move on from the regional competition.”
Grand Haven competes at the Division 1 regional at the Meadows Golf Course on the campus of Grand Valley State University in Allendale on Thursday. Competition is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
WMC soccer clinches Lakes Eight Conference title
The Western Michigan Christian boys soccer team jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back against host Ludington on Monday, rolling the Orioles, 4-1.
With the win, the Warriors (12-2-1, 6-0 Lakes Eight) clinch an outright Lakes Eight Conference title with two games left on the conference schedule.
Dylan Mines scored two goals and added one assist to lead the Warriors’ attack, while Evan Fles added one goal and one assist. Isaiah Nail added a goal in the second half off an assist from Johnscott Finley.
“It is great to bring WMC their first conference championship,” said WMC head coach David Hulings. “We know we are not done with this team, but we wanted to come out strong. We had such great leadership by our captain, Dylan Mines. It was fun to watch the energy and leadership Dylan and Evan had up top. We also had some great work by Kayden Riksen, filling in at center midfield.”
The Warriors take on crosstown rival Muskegon Catholic Central on Thursday.