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Five things to watch this week

Tribune Staff • Jan 23, 2018 at 1:15 AM

Winter has ebbed away, for now, giving the Lakeshore our first false spring of the year. Celebrate the farcical freedom from freezing by heading out to these can’t miss prep sporting events; you don’t even have to brush off the car.

GH wrestling vs. Rockford, West Ottawa

Where: Grand Haven High School

When: Wednesday, 5 p.m.

The Grand Haven grapplers are scheduled to celebrate their Bucs Pride Night with a double-dip of O-K Red Conference action Wednesday evening as the Rams and Panthers come to town.

Rockford trots in with just one dual-meet loss on the season, a 34-28 narrow defeat by Hudsonville, while West Ottawa has yet to get a win in the conference. The two met in both their first dual of the season, with the Rams taking a whopping 55-18 victory.

With two returning state qualifiers in Jack Richardson and Noah Anderson, Rockford will pose the biggest threat to spoil purple night for the Bucs. West Ottawa failed to send any wrestlers to the big dance last season and will struggle to do so once again this year.

As always, proceeds from Bucs Pride Night will go toward local cancer-fighting organizations to raise money for research and funding for coping programs for those battling cancer.

GH swim at Hudsonville

Where: Hudsonville Aquatic Center

When: Thursday, 6 p.m.

Grand Haven swim and dive is coming off a tough loss to Rockford last week and will be eager to right the ship in a road contest with Hudsonville. The Eagles operate in the mid-tier of the O-K Red Conference along with the Bucs and are a key hurdle in their quest to the top of the league.

With just four meets between now and the conference championships, the pressure is building for swimmers and divers to nab their state times, lest they have to use their taper at the conference meet.

A healthy mid-tier of Grand Haven’s team is within striking distance of an un-tapered state time. Look for the Bucs to get it done at Hudsonville’s shiny new facility Thursday.

GH/SL hockey at Hudsonville

Where: Georgetown Ice Arena

When: Friday, 6 p.m.

The Bucs will travel to Hudsonville to take on the O-K Tier 3-leading Eagles on Friday night in an attempt to close the gap at the top of the conference.

Grand Haven sits in second place currently with a 6-4-2 overall record and 3-0-1 conference record. Hudsonville holds a 7-9 overall record and 5-1 in conference mark.

After ripping off six straight wins from Nov. 24 to Dec. 20, the Bucs have lost four of their last five contests, and tied the fifth, and are in desperate need of a victory to hold pace with the Eagles.

GH girls hoops vs. Caledonia

Where: Grand Haven High School

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

The Grand Haven girls basketball team has a chance to make a jump in the O-K Red Conference standings on Friday, assuming they take care of business against last-place Grandville today. The Bucs are scheduled to host Caledonia and their 8-2 overall record, who sit tied with Grand Haven at 2-2 in the conference.

The Fighting Scots will take on second-to-last-place West Ottawa today and will presumably still sit tied with Grand Haven come Friday.

In their second season as part of the conference, Caledonia is determined to make a run at the top. After a 15-7 campaign left them in third last season, the Scots will be reluctant to relinquish third place to Grand Haven come Friday.

Winterfest snowboard/ski competition

Where: Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl

When: Sunday, 1-3 p.m.

Grand Haven’s favorite winter weekend returns this week as Winterfest takes over downtown. As the weather isn’t exactly primed for snow-sliding activities, the Ski Bowl’s snow-machines may get pressed into service for the ski and snowboard competition Sunday.

If conditions permit, racers of all ages may enter the Slope Style and Giant Slalom competitions to compete for prizes. Entry is free with the purchase of a lift ticket. For updates on slope conditions, visit mulliganshollow.com.

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