2017-12-14 / Sports

Okerlund shoots Lakers past Comets

By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


GLEN LAKE forward Cade Peterson throws down one of his “two and a half dunks” at Leland on Tuesday. GLEN LAKE forward Cade Peterson throws down one of his “two and a half dunks” at Leland on Tuesday. Up big in the second quarter, Glen Lake star Xander Okerlund took a pass in transition, timed his steps and elevated for a two-handed exclamation point.

Okerlund couldn’t finish the flush, however, as Leelanau County scoring leader Garett Miller met him at the rim.

“He sent him to the line instead,” Glen Lake coach Rich Ruelas said.

Leland could have used more of Miller’s not-in-my-house mentality Tuesday as Glen Lake had its way with the Comets in an 82-50 road win.

The Lakers (2-0, 1-0 NWC) led 27-10 entering the second quarter after Okerlund, who was recently tabbed as a Detroit Free Press top-100 player, buried four first-quarter 3s.

Okerlund finished with a game-high 20 points, scoring 18 in the first half.


XANDER OKERLUND makes his way off the court following a Leland timeout on Tuesday. XANDER OKERLUND makes his way off the court following a Leland timeout on Tuesday. “It was a great win,” said Okerlund, the reigning all-county Dream Team MVP. “We played well and everyone had a good time. We executed well.”

Cade Peterson added 15 points, including “two and a half dunks,” for the Lakers. Reece Hazelton had 11.

Thanks to extra passes, offensive rebounds and a plethora of points in the paint, Ruelas had the luxury of sitting his starters for most of the second half.

“It’s no fun to lose, but I’m pretty proud of the way my guys played,” Leland coach Jon Kiessel said. “We tried to limit our live-ball turnovers for the most part, but they made a couple quick runs and shot the lights out in the first part of the game and buried four or five (3s) right away. You’ve got to pick something to not guard — I’ll not guard 25 feet if I don’t have to — but they stuck it. They have some long, athletic and smart basketball players.”

The Comets (2-1, 0-1 NWC) struggled with Glen Lake’s man-to-man defense, which seemingly employs Stretch Armstrong at four positions.

Miller, who leads the county with 24.7 points per game, finished with 18 points; Chris Ursu chipped in with 12.

Leland wasn’t the only team to struggle with Glen Lake last week.

Elk Rapids ran into similar problems on Friday night in 69-45 road loss despite a slow start from the Lakers.

“It was our first game, so we definitely got some jitters out of the way,” Ruelas said. “We came out frantic, almost. What I was proud of is the guys figured it out on the court. Ultimately, that’s what you want them to be able to do. They did and they settled down.

“Once we adjusted and started to attack pressure with pressure, we were fine and were able to pull away in the second half. The thing that stood out to me most was the unselfish basketball. Of our 27 field goals, 22 were assisted. We didn’t have a game all last year with that many assists.”

Senior point guard Peyton McDonough supplied eight of those assists, adding three points.

Okerlund paced the Lakers in scoring with 21 points. Hazelton, a sophomore, added 18 points and five rebounds. Max Guilbeau chipped in with 10 points and five boards.

The team will host Suttons Bay tonight for its final game of 2017.

Return to top