2018-01-11 / Sports

Cade, Harris shoot Buckley past Glen Lake

By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


BUCKLEY SENIOR Denver Cade attempts to extend a layup over the outstretched arm of Glen Lake junior Drew Peterson on Tuesday in the first half of a Northwest Conference showdown in Buckley. BUCKLEY SENIOR Denver Cade attempts to extend a layup over the outstretched arm of Glen Lake junior Drew Peterson on Tuesday in the first half of a Northwest Conference showdown in Buckley. Denver Cade darted toward the basket, elevated between two defenders and left a contested layup just short of the mark. Cade calmly collected the rebound, contorted his body — and willed the ball off the glass and in.

The blue-collar bucket midway through the fourth quarter extended Buckley’s lead to 13 and served as one of a handful of daggers in the second half of an entertaining 73-59 victory over visiting Glen Lake on Tuesday.

For every Glen Lake comeback attempt, Buckley had an answer.

“We treat every game as if we’re in the state finals again,” Cade said.

Cade and the 2017 Class D finalists lost two games early this season but were as good advertised on Tuesday — if not better. Cade poured in 22 points. Austin Harris hit four 3s and finished with 20. Joey Weber hit four 3s and finished with 15.

Buckley contested shots, dove for loose balls, communicated defensively and, for now, proved it’s still the team to beat in the Northwest Conference.

“My kids are playing better,” Buckley coach Blair Moss said. “We’re going to shoot our way back into it. We’ve been not healthy and struggling a little bit, but tonight I was pleased.

“I saw flashes of last year.”

Glen Lake (4-1, 3-1 Northwest) fell behind early and spent the rest of the game playing catch-up. The Lakers did so admirably, however, on the strength of a balanced scoring attack.

Four players reached double figures. Reece Hazelton scored a team-high 16 points; Cade Peterson poured in 13; Peyton McDonough tallied 11; Xander Okerlund chipped in with 10.

Hazelton was especially impressive in the second half, burying a trio of 3s.

“Hazelton, we know he can shoot. We kind of lost track of him,” Moss said. “They’ve got some shooters.”

Buckley matched Glen Lake from long range, finishing with 10 triples.

The Bears rarely wasted a possession and chose shots wisely, something Lakers coach Rich Ruelas would have liked to see more of from his team.

“We have to let it come to us and not force things,” Ruelas said. “I think the environment got to us. It’s a good test of our character.”

Glen Lake’s character was tested in the fourth quarter when Cade spun an airborne Okerlund to the ground on his way to the basket. Tempers flared momentarily but cooler heads ultimately prevailed.

Cade, the man who seemingly had an answer for every Glen Lake surge in the second half, was asked about the mid-air collision after the game.

“I thought he was going to go up left-handed and I was going to strip the ball,” he said. “I’ve done it 100 times. It just so happened he came across and I got a hold of his arm and pulled him down. I think their fans and whole team wanted to come after me, but I told them I wasn’t intending to take him out. I’d never try to take anybody out.”

Ruelas didn’t seem to have any hard feelings after the game.

“I didn’t look into that at all,” Ruelas said. “I think he was just trying to make an aggressive play to stop a layup.”

The teams will meet for the second and final time this season on Feb. 8.

Moss is looking forward to it.

“It’ll be a different game up there because they like to shoot the lights out up there, but we’ll be all right,” he said. “By then, we’ll be even better, so it should be a barn-burner.

“Make sure you’re there.”

The Lakers will look to bounce back at home tonight against Benzie.

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