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Five things to watch this week

Tribune Staff • Jan 29, 2019 at 12:15 AM

As the weather deteriorates further, there are no guarantees of prep competition running over the next few days. Nonetheless, there are plenty of meaningful meetings scheduled for local teams this week from rivalry hoops to wrestling conference tournaments.

If you find yourself with a light schedule due to canceled responsibilities, be sure to check out these five events, assuming they survive the cold and snow. Stay tuned to the Grand Haven Tribune website and social media feeds for updates on cancellations and reschedules.

GH girls hoops vs. Rockford

WHEN: Today, 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Grand Haven Fieldhouse

The Buccaneer girls are the talk of the town on the hardwood this season, or at least they should be. A resounding defeat of the defending O-K Red Conference champions last week officially put them in the league driver’s seat with an 11-0 start to the season.

Senior point guard Alli Keyser continues to rewrite the record book every time she steps on the floor, most recently breaking the Grand Haven single-game scoring record with 34 points against East Kentwood. Keyser doesn’t score alone, though, as her fellow starters and support players have hit their stride in the paint and beyond the arc.

Matchups with the Rams are always competitive, regardless of standing heading into the game. Today’s meeting is the first for the two programs this season and stands as the final in-conference test for the Bucs, as they have dispatched every other O-K Red school so far this season by an average margin of 20.8 points. Rockford and Grand Haven split their two meetings last season, with the Bucs taking the most recent matchup.

GH wrestling vs. Rockford

WHEN: Wednesday, 6 p.m.

WHERE: Grand Haven Fieldhouse

Grand Haven wrestling is alive and well in 2019 as they cruise through the regular season on the strength of a stellar returning lineup and the development of their promising newcomers to the varsity squad.

A Wednesday-night rivalry matchup will be their final test before they take on the postseason. Rockford took second place overall at the O-K Red Conference tournament last year, two spots and 46 points ahead of the Bucs in fourth.

In their regular-season meeting last year, Rockford laid a whooping on the Bucs, winning by a final score of 43-23. Riley Rhone and Cody Miller both picked up individual wins over the Rams as the only returning wrestlers to do so. They will look to continue the trend and their stellar seasons thus far at Grand Haven High School on Wednesday.

GH swim vs. West Ottawa

WHEN: Thursday, 6 p.m.

WHERE: West Ottawa High School

The Grand Haven swim team is on a roll as they reap the long-awaited rewards of a brutal season of training. With just two meets left on their schedule before the all-important conference championships, it’s time for one final push toward the state meet as the season comes to a close.

When Grand Haven visits the Panthers on Thursday, state will be on their mind, as they try to keep up with a quick West Ottawa squad and secure a state cut ahead of the conference meet. If a swimmer grabs their spot before the O-K Red finals, they can save their taper and big finale for the last meet of the season, rather than resting, shaving and suiting for the conference meet.

Apart from the postseason implications, West Ottawa is the strongest test the league has to offer, and it couldn’t come at a better time as Grand Haven looks to see what they are really made of.

Wrestling conference tourneys

WHERE: O-K Red: Hudsonville, O-K Blue: Spring Lake, O-K Black: Kenowa Hills

WHEN: O-K Red: Friday, 4 p.m., O-K Blue: Saturday, 9 a.m., O-K Black: Friday, 5 p.m.

It is postseason time for local wrestlers as Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Fruitport gear up for their team conference tournaments this weekend.

All three conference tournaments will run the same format as individual wrestlers will look to climb to the top of their weight class brackets, earning more points for their team the higher they finish.

The Bucs’s return a couple of high finishers from the 2018 tournament, including a defending champion. Cody Miller has yet to lose a matchup this season and will look to defend his O-K Red title at 125 lbs, while Riley Rhone will look to avenge a runner-up finish at 103 lbs from a year ago.

The Lakers have been dealing with youth all season but will be a team to watch as they host the O-K Blue tournament on Saturday. Jack Parker will be sure to lead the way as a returning regional qualifier, while Max Montgomery, Jamie Holt and Nick Giddings will all be close behind. All four Lakers will be in the hunt for a title with some timely wins. A sixth-place finish at last year’s tournament hasn’t sat well with Spring Lake. Wrestling at home, they are sure to move up in the standings.

Fruitport hits the O-K Black postseason with two returning conference champions as Connor Sykes and Crue Cooper will look to win back-to-back titles. A fourth-place finish will be the mark to beat as the Trojans finished behind Reeths-Puffer, Jenison and Mona Shores in 2018.

GH hoops at the Pit

WHEN: Friday, 6 p.m.

WHERE: Lakeshore Middle School

For the second time this season, varsity basketball will live on at the Pit at Lakeshore Middle School. The former site of the high school, the Pit housed Grand Haven basketball games from 1953 to 1997 and is an electric venue for hoops.

Close quarters mean seats are limited. If you can score a ticket, Friday’s matchup with Zeeland West will be a must-see.

The boys will take the court first at 6 p.m. to battle with the 9-3 Dux, who hold marquee wins over Reeths-Puffer (59-54) and Mona Shores (63-57).

The girls’ test will be less dire, as Zeeland West trots just three wins into their Friday-night matchup. A story to watch does come from Grand Haven shooting guard Jolee Houle, who will be playing her first game against her former team.

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