5 Things to Watch this Week

Tribune Staff • Feb 12, 2019 at 1:00 AM

The prep sports winter season is heading into the final stretch, with some teams in the running for conference championships and others preparing to make deep runs into their respective postseason tournaments.

Local basketball teams will be cramming three or four games into their schedules this week, as inclement weather has forced schools to jumble together as many league games as possible before the end of the month.

Local ski and wrestling programs are preparing for their regional tournaments this week. A strong performance at the regional competition will punch a ticket to the state championship meet.

Bowling and hockey teams will also be competing this week, as local bowlers take on their conference tournaments and hockey teams round out the end of their regular seasons looking to gather some momentum as they head into the playoffs.

Here's a look at all the pivotal prep sports matchups this week:

Grand Haven-Rockford Basketball Doubleheader

When: Today, 7 p.m.

Where: Grand Haven Fieldhouse and Rockford High School

The Grand Haven boys and girls basketball teams will take on O-K Red Conference rival Rockford today in two crucial league matchups.

The Grand Haven boys (9-7, 4-4 O-K Red) will host the Rams (10-5, 5-3 O-K Red), less than a week after recording a 48-43 road win over Rockford to snap a three-game losing streak. The Buccaneers couldn't hold off league-leading Hudsonville on Friday night, but now have three winnable games on their schedule heading into their regular-season finale at East Kentwood on Feb. 22.

The Grand Haven girls (13-1, 6-1 O-K Red) will play their third straight league road game today at Rockford (11-3, 6-1 O-K Red), after dropping their first game of the season last week at West Ottawa and bouncing back with a road win over Hudsonville on Friday. A road win over the Rams would put the Bucs in a great position in the league race, with a Feb. 22 road game at East Kentwood likely deciding the conference champion.

Division 2 ski regionals

When: Wednesday, 9 a.m.

Where: Cannonsburg Ski Area

The Spring Lake boys and girls ski teams will take on the Cannonsburg slopes and a competitive field Wednesday, as they hope to break through and send several Lakers to the state championship meet at Boyne Mountain on Feb. 25.

In their latest competition, the Spring Lake boys squad showcased their depth, finishing second overall. In the giant slalom, Charlie Parker finished in 10th place, Colby Brown was 14th, Aidan Parker was 17th, and Griffin Phares rounded out the scoring in 20th. In the slalom, Charlie Parker was seventh, Aidan Parker was eighth, Colby Brown was 10th and Griffin Phares was 19th. Parker and Brown both qualified for the state tournament last season.

The Laker girls were shorthanded for the event but still managed a strong finish. The girls were eighth in the slalom and ninth in giant slalom. Junior Erin Burke led the team in both events with a 16th-place finish in the giant slalom and a 20th in slalom. The other racers for the Laker girls were: Zoe Komar (34th and 42nd), Annika Holleman (45th and 48th), and Alexis Kotrch (51st in both events).

WMC basketball at Ludington

When: Friday, 6 and 7:30 p.m.

Where: Ludington High School

The Western Michigan Christian boys and girls basketball teams will travel to Ludington for an important Lakes Eight Conference doubleheader Friday.

In the opener, the WMC girls (13-1, 7-0 Lakes Eight) will have a chance to all but lock up a league championship with a win over the Orioles (9-6, 7-1), with only two league games remaining after this weekend's showdown.

In the nightcap, the WMC boys (6-9, 4-3 Lakes Eight) have a chance to jump into second place in the conference with a win over Ludington (8-8, 5-3). If the Warriors find a way to close out the Orioles, they will be only two games behind league-leading Muskegon Heights Academy with a Feb. 20 matchup looming between the two squads.

Division 1 individual wrestling regionals

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.

Where: Grand Haven Fieldhouse

The Grand Haven wrestling program qualified four grapplers to this weekend's individual regional tournament, which the Buccaneers are hosting.

Cody Miller (125 lbs), Riley Rhone (103 lbs), Trevor Rademaker (152 lbs) and Hefzur Rahman (112 lbs) all recorded top-four finishes in their respective weight classes at last weekend's district tournament and will be competing for a chance to wrestle at Ford Field on March 1-2.

The Spring Lake and Fruitport wrestling teams will be traveling to Fremont High School for their individual regional tournament. Both the Lakers and Trojans pushed three grapplers through the district tournament with Spring Lake sending Jack Parker (103 lbs), Max Montgomery (103 lbs) and Jamie Holt (125 lbs) and Fruitport sending Dominic Dault (135 lbs) Crue Cooper (171 lbs) and Connor Sykes (119 lbs) to this weekend's event.

O-K Red Conference Bowling Tournament

When: Saturday, 8 a.m.

Where: Fairlanes Bowling Center in Grandville

The Grand Haven boys and girls bowling teams will be taking on the O-K Red Postseason Conference Tournament this weekend, as both squads look to prove the regular season was no fluke.

Both Buccaneer squads stand atop the league standings heading into the tournament, with three league matchups scheduled this week before the tournament.

The Grand Haven boys' squad is coming off a first-place team finish at the Mona Shores Invitational on Saturday and should have a great opportunity to win some more hardware this weekend.

The Grand Haven girls' have maintained a perfect league record to this point in the season, but will be tested with matches against Rockford and East Kentwood later this week. The Buccaneer girls look to be title contenders, as they prepare for both the conference and regional tournaments in the next two weeks.

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