The varsity girls basketball teams from Grand Haven and Grand Rapids Catholic Central have plenty in common.
Both were in the state finals last year, with Grand Haven defeating Grosse Pointe South for the Class A title and Catholic Central falling to Goodrich in the Class B championship game.
Both teams graduated four starters off last year's teams, and both entered this year with tempered expectations.
Both have exceeded expectations this far.
Grand Haven (11-0) is ranked No. 2 in Class A, while Catholic Central (9-2) was a top-10 team before losing to state-ranked Wayland last week.
Tonight, the Buccaneers and the Cougars face off at 7 p.m. at Grand haven Fieldhouse in a kickoff of what Bucs' coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer called her team's toughest week of the year
"On our schedule, Rockford, Grandville and Catholic Central are the top three teams, and the fact that Catholic Central beat the other two tells me they're the best team on our schedule," said Kowalczyk-Fulmer, whose team plays at Grandville on Friday.
"They're a great program. They're very similar to us."
The Cougars' lone remaining starter is junior point guard Alyzia Dilworth, a third-year varsity starter.
"She's a great floor leader who can shoot the 3 and take it to the rim," Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. "She's just a solid player."
GRCC's leading scorer on the season is senior guard Courtney Zenner, who has singed on to play at Saginaw Valley State University next year.
To read more of this story, see today's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.