2017-03-16 / Sports

Lady Lakers outlast St. Ignace, head to East Lansing

Glen Lake makes first state semifinal appearance since 1979
By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


GLEN LAKE players celebrate their 63-52 quarterfinal win over St. Ignace in Gaylord on Tuesday. Pictured from left are Jennifer LaCross, Savannah Peplinski, Kelly Bunek and Allie Bonzelet. GLEN LAKE players celebrate their 63-52 quarterfinal win over St. Ignace in Gaylord on Tuesday. Pictured from left are Jennifer LaCross, Savannah Peplinski, Kelly Bunek and Allie Bonzelet.

Galvanized by an airball-chanting student section and a big first-quarter run, Linnie Gustafson and her St. Ignace teammates captured a 16-9 lead and were well on their way to a Class C quarterfinal victory.

The Lady Saints had momentum.

Glen Lake had Savannah Peplinski.

Peplinski put the team on her back, poured in a season-high 23 points and guided Glen Lake into the semifinals with a 63-52 win inside Joe Mongeau Gymnasium in Gaylord on Tuesday.

“She really stepped up,” Glen Lake guard Allie Bonzelet said of the performance.“When other people weren’t hitting shots, she made sure she was doing their work as well as hers.”

Glen Lake is slated to take on Pewamo-Westphalia at the Breslin Center in East Lansing this afternoon.


SAVANNAH PEPLINSKI paced the Glen Lake girls with 23 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday’s quarterfinal win. SAVANNAH PEPLINSKI paced the Glen Lake girls with 23 points and 11 rebounds in Tuesday’s quarterfinal win. The state semifinal appearance will be the program’s first in 38 years.

“We did not want to lose,” said Peplinski, who added 11 rebounds, four steals and four assists in Tuesday’s win. “We were going to give it our all on the court and play to the very end.”

Peplinski put a stop to St. Ignace’s 8-0 run late in the first quarter, knocking down a 3 from the left wing.

Then, after Glen Lake knotted the score up at 22 apiece, the junior guard hit a 5-footer on a nice feed from Bonzelet and buried another 3 to give Glen Lake a 27-22 lead at the half.

The Lady Lakers never looked back.

Big buckets from Kaitlyn Schaub, including an and-1 late in the third quarter, helped Glen Lake maintain a comfortable lead down the stretch.

“She was hungry,” coach Jason Bradford said of Schaub. “As a sophomore inside, she’s going to be a force to reckon with in the next couple of years. The girls on the bench got after her tonight. She knew she had to perform.”

Schaub did just that, supplying 10 points and 10 rebounds, while starters Jennifer LaCross and Sarah Carney spent most of the second half in foul trouble. LaCross, who did most of her damage in the first half, finished with 11 points. Carney chipped in with six.

The Lady Lakers found ways to overcome another forgettable night at the free-throw line, finishing 14-of-29 (48 percent). St. Ignace, on the other hand, shot 17-of-19 (89 percent).

Gustafson, who shot 9-of-9 from the line and finished with a team-high 17 points, said too many fouls and turnovers spelled doom for St. Ignace.

“It’s hard to win when you do that,” Gustafson said.

The Saints didn’t go down without a fight, however.

The team opened up another 8-0 run with time winding down, trimming the Glen Lake lead to three, but did not score again. Free throws from Carney, Peplinski, Schaub and senior guard Kelly Bunek put the game out of reach.

Not long after a “no school, no school” chant from the Glen Lake student section, the buzzer sounded and Bunek found herself in the middle of a celebratory group hug near the bench.

“Breslin bound!” said Bunek, who finished with six points, five boards and four assists. “We’ve been waiting to play at MSU all season. That’s what we’ve been waiting for. I feel so happy and so proud of all my teammates and thankful for all the people coming out and our coaches. They’ve been telling us we could do this since last season.”

Today’s semifinal showdown between Glen Lake (23-3) and Pewamo-Westphalia (23-2) is slated to tip off at 2:50 p.m. The winner will play either Detroit Edison (18-5) or Flint Hamady in (19-5) in Saturday’s state final, which will start at 4 p.m.

Ticket and live-streaming information are available on the MHSAA website.

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