It's often clichéd coaches' speak at the start of the district tournament that suggests teams can throw their records out the window because everyone could be considered 0-0 at this time of the year.
That's been beaten into the psyche at Spring Lake, where the Lakers enter their Class B district bracket considered the favorites. But Lakers' coach Bill Core has warned his squad about being overconfident, telling his players "nobody cares that we're 18-2 and conference champs."
Still, the Lakers have to be feeling good about their chances at ending a long district drought, considering they've already defeated three of the potential four opponents in the district, including their opening-round foe, Coopersville. The Lakers are Broncos will square off tonight at 7 p.m. at Orchard View High School.
The Broncos don't appear to be a serious threat to pull an upset, considering they've won just one game this season and were blown out by the Lakers on Dec. 7, 64-39.
GH LOOKING FOR CONSISTENCY
After a regular-season grind, Grand Haven is fine starting fresh for its Class A district tournament, especially after the up-and-down season the Bucs have experienced.
When they’re on, the Bucs (10-10) have shown they're capable of playing with any team in West Michigan. They stunned a talented Rockford team on their home court on Feb. 8, 68-66 in overtime; they shot the lights out in a home upset of Hudsonville on Feb. 1, 65-59; and took O-K Red champion East Kentwood down to the wire on Jan. 17, before faltering late in the fourth and losing by seven.
The Bucs may be able to light up the scoreboard tonight in their district opener, as they play at Kenowa Hills against a Knights’ team with just two wins on the season. If Grand Haven advances, they'll challenge Fruitport at Mona Shores High School, as the Trojans received a first-round bye.
The Trojans were moved up a class this season and sport a 9-11 record. Fruitport coach Bill Andree said his squad could easily have a winning mark, but they suffered several tough losses in which they blew fourth-quarter leads. The most recent heartbreaker was against Spring Lake on Feb. 22, when they coughed up an eight-point advantage in the fourth and lost by a point.
WMC FACES UNKNOWNS
Western Michigan Christian begins its Class C district tournament at Fennville against an unfamiliar opponent — Saugatuck. The Warriors and Indians tip off at 6 p.m., with the winner facing host Fennville on Wednesday.
Muskegon Heights, which received the other bye in the bracket, could be considered the district favorite, after going 14-4. This is the Tigers’ first season in the Class C district, after dominating Spring Lake, Fruitport and other area schools in the Class B postseason for several years.
Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.