2017-01-26 / Sports

Bunek lifts Lakers to 23rd straight conference win

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


GLEN LAKE senior Kelly Bunek knocks down a fifth 3-pointer on Monday in a win against Kingsley. The trifecta gave the Glen Lake girls a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Pictured left is her coach, Jason Bradford. GLEN LAKE senior Kelly Bunek knocks down a fifth 3-pointer on Monday in a win against Kingsley. The trifecta gave the Glen Lake girls a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Pictured left is her coach, Jason Bradford. Suttons Bay coach David Wheelock had high praise for Kingsley guard Jalynn Brumfield following his team’s 70-10 loss to the Lady Stags last week.

“She might be the best player in the conference,” Wheelock said.

Brumfield, a transfer from Traverse City Central, became eligible to join the Kingsley lineup last Wednesday, effectively bolstering one of the best rosters in the Northwest Conference.

The junior was as good as advertised in the early stages of Monday’s marquee matchup at Glen Lake. Brumfield had a big block and a 3-pointer early, helping Kingsley race out to a 7-0 lead.

The Lady Stags had a secret weapon — but Glen Lake had Kelly Bunek.

Bunek answered the 7-0 run with a momentum-shifting 8-0 run of her own, finished with a game-high 17 points and guided the Lady Lakers to their eighth straight win, 55-40.

“It feels good to finally hit some 3s,” Bunek said after the game. “I’ve never hit that many. I was just feeling it. I got the ball, was ready to shoot and didn’t hesitate. They just kept falling.”

The senior point guard scored her final 15 points from beyond the arc, including a dagger from the left wing with 2:43 remaining that gave Glen Lake a 10-point lead.

Glen Lake coach Jason Bradford said he gave Bunek the green light in a timeout moments prior.

“I said hey, senior, this is yours to take,” Bradford said. “She hit it and got the wheels going again.”

Bunek had plenty of help from her friends in the final three quarters.

Kaitlyn Schaub finished with 10 points, Allie Bonzelet added nine, Jennifer LaCross chipped in with eight and Savannah Peplinski scored seven.

Kingsley cut the lead to three points in the final stanza, but Glen Lake found ways to put the game out of reach with transition buckets and free throws.

“They’re a hard team to defend,” Bradford said. “They’ve got shooters, they’ve got inside (players) and they’ve got Brumfield who just came back — she’s strong.”

Brumfield finished with 11 points.

The Lady Lakers (8-1, 7-0 Northwest) have now won 23 straight games against Northwest Conference opponents and find themselves in the driver’s seat with nine conference games left on the schedule.

Home wins over Benzie Central and Frankfort last week certainly helped the cause. Both teams are poised to join Glen Lake and Kingsley near the top of the standings when the regular season comes to a close.

Friday’s 59-48 win over Frankfort featured five Lakers in double figures: Peplinski (16 points, seven steals), Bonzelet (13 points, 10 rebounds), Bunek (12 points), LaCross (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Schaub (10 points, 10 rebounds).

The performances came despite an abysmal night at the charity stripe, where the Lakers shot 12-of-30.

Bunek said the game was won with defense.

“We tried to shut Cecelia (Schmitt) down on defense,” Bunek said of the Frankfort standout, who finished with 23 points. “I think Jennifer held her scoreless in the third quarter.”

LaCross was also a difference-maker in the team’s 59-48 win over Benzie, pouring in a season-high 19 points.

Bonzelet (16 points, eight rebounds), Bunek (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Schaub (15 rebounds) stepped up on both ends of the floor, as well.

The Lady Lakers will hit the road for their next three games, starting at Cadillac on Friday.


Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the correct number of consecutive conference games won by Glen Lake, 23.

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