2017-03-16 / Sports

Glen Lake wins first regional title since ‘01

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff

GLEN LAKE players hold up the regional trophy after a 56-44 win over tournament host Charlevoix last Thursday. GLEN LAKE players hold up the regional trophy after a 56-44 win over tournament host Charlevoix last Thursday. With his team trailing 15-4 early, Glen Lake coach Jason Bradford refused to press the panic button.

“I knew they’d fight back,” Bradford said. “I didn’t want to call a timeout, give them confidence and their student section something to cheer about.”

The Lady Lakers kept their cool, put away the proverbial panic button—and promptly pressed the reset button.

The girls rallied off a 12-0 run, closed the game out on a 20-5 run and continued their impressive postseason run with a 56-44 regional final victory over tournament host Charlevoix.

“We just had heart,” said Glen Lake guard Allie Bonzelet, who had 12 points, four rebounds and four steals. “We worked for this the whole year, so we just played our game, stepped up when we were down and came together as a team. We practiced the whole summer and have worked hard to be here.

“I’m not surprised at all.”

Balanced scoring and full-court pressure allowed Glen Lake to take a 19-18 lead in the second quarter, but it didn’t last. Charlevoix led 22-21 at the half and 39-36 early in the fourth.

The Lakers had their hands full with freshman phenom Elise Stuck, who struck early and often with her picturesque pull-up jumper. Stuck racked up 22 points, 16 boards and 14 blocks.

“She’s pretty good,” Glen Lake senior Kelly Bunek said. “You’ve got to be quick on your feet. She’s doing the same thing, so you kind of get used to it; but it’s quick, a fast release.”

Glen Lake’s balanced brand of offense prevailed in the fourth quarter.

Savannah Peplinski put the Lakers up 42-41 with a long step-back jumper, sparking a 10-0 run.

Kaitlyn Schaub’s layup made it 44-41; Bonzelet’s layup made it 46-41; Jen LaCross’ layup made it 48-41; Peplinski’s layup made it 50-41.

“They’re all good,” Charlevoix coach Elizabeth Shaw said of the Lakers. “I thought they really played well as a team. When one wasn’t hitting and driving, the others were.

“They’re a hard team to stop.”

Glen Lake’s ability to score inside was key in the second half, especially since the team struggled to convert at the free-throw line. The Lakers shot 10-of-21 from the stripe (48 percent).

“We were running them down and back,” said Peplinski, who finished with 16 points and 10 boards. “We could see they were tired so we pushed it at them because we’re a team that can keep running and running.”

LaCross and Sarah Carney went right at Charlevoix’s bigs when given the opportunity, collapsing their zone and creating space for Glen Lake guards on the perimeter. The duo finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Bunek added seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists. She was all smiles after the game.

“It means a lot,” Bunek said of winning the regional title as a senior. “I just can’t thank my coaches and teammates enough for putting all the time in this summer. It starts there.

“This is a dream come true.”

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