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Grand Haven, Spring Lake playoff primer

Alec Brzezinski • Jun 4, 2019 at 12:15 AM

Michigan’s spring high school sports season is coming to a close, but Grand Haven and Spring Lake still have plenty to play for in a variety of sports.

Weather has dampened the spring season a bit, but student-athletes from across the state have persevered with impressive displays.

From regionals to state finals, here are four local teams to follow and support this week:

Regional semifinal: GH vs. Forest Hills Central girls soccer

Where: East Kentwood High School

When: Today, 5 p.m.

Grand Haven’s girls soccer team has a flair for the dramatic. The Bucs rarely put teams away, but they never get blown out. They won two overtime games in districts, while also edging No. 2 Grandville, 3-2.

Senior Alli Keyser scored two huge goals in the district final to punch Grand Haven’s ticket into regionals. The two-sport star has taken a bit of a backseat in scoring this season, but she remains one of the best and most important players on the pitch.

The Bucs were down two defenders in the district final, but they hope to have both sophomore Ingrid Hentemann and senior Miya Luckey back for this game.

Grand Haven has been a momentum team all season, and it might just ride some momentum into the regional final.

State finals: Spring Lake boys golf

Where: Michigan State University’s Forest Akers West Course

When: Friday, Saturday (tee times start at 9 a.m. both days)

Forest Akers West, one of two courses on Michigan State’s beautiful East Lansing campus, features four long par 3s and a plethora of uncomfortable driving holes. Michigan State’s home course should provide a stiff test for the Division 2 state finals competitors, as it features tree-lined holes, water and a bevy of strategically placed sand traps.

The Lakers enjoyed a successful season, highlighted by their top-three finish at regionals all the way up in Gaylord. Senior Nick Krueger, who has already signed to play for Grand Valley State next fall, shot a 72 at Gaylord Country Club. He has been a steady leader for this team.

Lakers freshman Evan McDermott shot a 79 in regionals. He has displayed the power and tenacity needed to compete at a high level. He could surprise people this weekend with an All-State finish.

While Krueger and McDermott have stolen the headlines this season, seniors Chance Fry, Jack Ogden and Evan Schock are steady players who could help this team reach their ultimate goal of a state title.

Regional semifinal: SL vs. Zeeland East girls soccer

Where: Holland High School

When: Today, 5 p.m.

The Lakers scored a combined 18 goals in three district games, showcasing their lethal, quick-strike ability. Senior forward Laney Peasley broke the school’s all-time scoring record this season, and she has been one of the state’s fiercest competitors since donning a Spring Lake uniform.

Spring Lake’s tika-taka style is a joy to watch. All 11 Laker girls on the pitch are excellent passers, ready to control possession and catch opponents off guard. The team has been especially difficult to defend ever since freshman Meah Bajt’s midseason promotion from the junior varsity team.

Zeeland East poses a tough test, but Spring Lake has made the regional final each of the past two seasons, and it should be ready for another long playoff run.

Regional semifinal: SL vs. Portland softball

Where: Grand Rapids South Christian High School

When: Saturday, noon

Spring Lake softball has been dominant all season, exemplified by a convincing run through districts.

The Lakers feature offensive firepower with home-run threat Jenna Core, Leah Vaughan and Molly Poole leading the lineup. After scoring in bunches all season, Spring Lake should be able to invigorate fans with exciting regional games.

Although the road gets tough for Spring Lake, starting with a matchup against Portland, the Lakers have a chance to win anytime Vaughan is on the mound.

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