The Grand Haven boys tennis team finished off their conference season Monday with the O-K Red Conference tournament, finishing in fifth place overall with 30 points.
Hudsonville took home first place Monday and the overall conference title with 46 points Monday, followed by Grandville (41), Rockford (38) and West Ottawa (35). While East Kentwood (16) trailed Grand Haven for last place.
Their fifth-place finish was fueled by two conference championships, and one third-place finish. In addition, three Grand Haven flights finished higher than their tournament seed.
Noah Bachmann dominated the competition at No. 1 singles, beating Rockford 6-0, 6-1 before sweeping his West Ottawa opponent, 6-0, 6-0, in the finals. Riley Wilton took home his third straight conference championship by beating West Ottawa, 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 3 singles finals.
“Noah winning the conference championship at No. 1 singles as a sophomore is quite a prestigious feat,” he said. “Then, to only lose one game through the entire tournament with all the biggest schools in the O-K Conference is ridiculous. I don’t think anyone has won the No. 1 singles finals like that before. This was an incredible performance.”
Wilton’s third conference title finished off an illustrious O-K Red career, the senior lost just one match in three years of varsity conference play.
Spencer Sortman continued Grand Haven’s success in the singles flights, taking home third place at No. 2 singles with a win over rival West Ottawa, 6-2, 6-1.
The No. 1 doubles team of Dylan Shenefield and Mason Price picked up a fifth-place finish to lead the doubles flights, fueled by a rivalry-revenge win over a West Ottawa pair who beat them in the regular season.
The No. 2 douvles team of Chris Akselberg and Weston Taylor were seeded sixth coming into the tournament, but took fifth with a 7-5, 6-4 win over East Kentwood. Nathan Sexton also moved up at No. 4 singles, starting as the sixth seed and finishing fifth with a win dramatic over East Kentwood, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.
The Bucs defeated West Ottawa in four flights, after losing 7-1 to the Panthers at their match just a few weeks ago, marking significant improvement for Grand Haven as they enter the postseason.
“It was the simplest day I have ever had in coaching,” Wilton said of the final rounds of play, which were postponed to Monday due to rain on Saturday. “Those three players were so focused and determined that I literally didn’t have to coach at all. That is the way it is with most of this team at this point. With six seniors and a lot of varsity experience, they know what they need to do.”
The Bucs will take on the regional championship tournament Thursday, hoping to finish in the top two overall and clinch a berth to the state tournament.
Spring Lake soccer cruises past West Catholic
The Spring Lake boys soccer team used a strong offensive performance to rout Grand Rapids West Catholic on Monday, 7-2.
Jack Odgen, Ben Bouwhuis and Matt Gagnon each scored two goals to lead the Lakers (9-7-1), while the Falcons added an own goal for the seventh tally of the game.
The Lakers will wrap up their regular season with a game against Comstock Park on Thursday.