2017-03-09 / Sports

Lakers top Lake City, roll into regional final

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff

The Glen Lake girls don’t have a dynamic duo, a big three or a Fab Five.

They have more.

Call it a Super Six.

Six players provided eight or more points in Charlevoix on Tuesday as the red-hot Lady Lakers ran past Lake City in the Region 23 semifinal, 60-45.

Glen Lake (21-3) will take on tournament host Charlevoix (18-6) tonight in its first regional final appearance since 2001, the senior year of assistant coach and former “Miss Basketball” Liz (Shimek) Moeggenberg.

“I think the girls are realizing what this team is capable of,” said Moeggenberg, who has been bringing WNBA pedigree to practices as a member of the scout team. “It’s definitely fun to get in there and make them better and be the opponent, but there’s just something special about them. They’re playing with a lot of heart, playing well together and leaving it all on the floor.”

The six players — Allie Bonzelet, Kelly Bunek, Sarah Carney, Jennifer LaCross, Savannah Peplinski and Kaitlyn Schaub — have taken turns terrorizing defenses all season, and that’s exactly what they did on Tuesday.

LaCross got things started with three buckets in a back-and-forth first quarter, keeping Glen Lake within striking distance of Lake City’s 10-8 lead.

The lead didn’t last long.

Carney, Peplinski and Schaub spearheaded an inside-outside game in the second quarter as Glen Lake lit up Lake City for 21 points. Carney and Schaub combined for 10 points in the paint while Peplinski caught fire from beyond the arc with a trio of trifectas.

“We were hitting our posts inside and hitting our shots outside, Savannah especially,” Bunek said. “We worked it inside — and they all finished.”

It was all Glen Lake from there.

Bonzelet and Bunek tallied five points apiece in the third quarter as the team turned a 29-20 halftime advantage into a commanding 45-31 lead.

Seven fourth-quarter points from Bonzelet, including a 3-point dagger that made it 58-42 with 2:18 remaining, allowed head coach Jason Bradford to empty his bench and effectively put the team’s ninth straight win on ice.

Bonzelet led offensively with 12 points. Peplinski supplied 11 points, LaCross recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Schaub tallied 10 points, Bunek netted nine points, and Carney had eight.

"We were just playing as a team and staying on track," Carney said. "We came off a couple big wins, and that's really good, but we don't want this to end. We have really good chemistry and, as seniors, Kelly and I don't want this season to end. We're having too much fun to see this end early."

Defensively, Glen Lake found some success while rolling out a 2-3 zone for the first time this season.

Bradford said he had initially planned on breaking out the new look in the district tournament last Thursday, but that it wasn't quite ready.

"It took us a long time just to kind of figure it out," Bradford said. "We worked on it in practice and got frustrated. We were going to try that against St. Francis, but we kind of threw it out the window. It worked tonight."

Makayla Ardis, a sophomore, led Lake City offensively with 15 points.

Glen Lake can punch its ticket to the Class C quarterfinals by beating Charlevoix in tonight's game, which starts at 6 p.m. The winner will play the Region 24 champion in Gaylord on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Correction: The score of Tuesday's game was mistakenly printed as 65-50. It was 60-45.

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