2018-03-01 / Sports

Bonzelet, LaCross lead Lakers past Glads

Glen Lake uses 21-3 run to climb out of early hole, advance to finals
By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


GLEN LAKE senior Jen LaCross (10) drives the lane Monday in the second half of a district semifinal matchup at Traverse City St. Francis. GLEN LAKE senior Jen LaCross (10) drives the lane Monday in the second half of a district semifinal matchup at Traverse City St. Francis. It was crunch time.

The St. Francis faithful was on its feet as the upset-minded Gladiators trimmed Glen Lake’s eight-point lead to just two in the fourth quarter. With the season on the line and less than four minutes left to salvage it, the Lakers desperately needed an answer.

Allie Bonzelet had three of them.

“The question is ‘who wants the ball?’” Glen Lake coach Jason Bradford said after the game. “She wanted it, she took it to the hole and she finished. That’s the turning point of the game. She got knocked down on two of them and finished them still.”

Bonzelet’s back-to-back-to-back buckets on Monday gave Glen Lake some much-needed breathing room and allowed the visiting Lakers to escape Traverse City with a 52-47 District 91 semifinal win.


ALLIE BONZELET (11) came up big for Glen Lake on both ends of the floor. ALLIE BONZELET (11) came up big for Glen Lake on both ends of the floor. The Lakers, who were tabbed as the No. 10 Class C team in the AP Poll this week, were slated to play Manton in the district final after press time last night. Manton cruised past Grand Traverse Academy 74-29 on Monday.

“Coach told us to attack open seams,” said Bonzelet, who began her fourth-quarter run with identical-looking layups in back-to-back possessions. “It was open so I decided to go for it.”

Basketball is a game of runs, and the rematch of last year’s 50-44 semifinal bout was no exception.

The Glads caught fire in the first quarter and, after a Joyana Tarsa two early in the second stanza, led 23-12.

“Did they miss?” Bradford said with a laugh. “You knew it wasn’t going to last. They were hitting every shot. A lot of it is sticking with your game mentally. You have to overcome it.”

The Lakers (19-2) did just that by working the ball inside to Kaitlyn Schaub, who made it 23-14 and 23-16 with two hard-earned layups.

Then Jen LaCross went to work.

LaCross, the district hero against St. Francis last year, started to shift the momentum by attacking the rim and drawing contact. The senior scored 18 of her game-high 22 points in the second and third quarters, hitting 8-of-8 free-throw attempts in that span. Her layup late in the second quarter put Glen Lake up 27-26 at halftime — and was part of a 21-3 run.

“When you have two great basketball teams playing against each other, there’s going to be runs,” first-year St. Francis coach Tyler Schell said. “It wasn’t anything we didn’t expect. We said we went on our run and they’re going to go on theirs.

“We did everything we could have to put ourselves in a position to win.”

The Glads all but neutralized Leelanau County scoring leader Savannah Peplinski, who finished with a season-low three points amid foul trouble and limped off the court late in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. Bradford said he’d be surprised if Peplinski missed significant time but couldn’t confirm the severity of the injury immediately after the game.

Bonzelet and LaCross covered for their classmate, pouring in 33 of Glen Lake’s 40 points in the final three quarters. Bonzelet finished with 16 points.

St. Francis seniors Sarah Chouinard and Lauren Beamer also reached double figures with 19 points and 13 points, respectively.

“Hats off to them,” Bradford said. “They came out, scrapped and showed they didn’t want their season to end.”

The District 91 winner will head to Grayling Tuesday to play in the regional semifinals. The regional final is slated for Thursday at 7 p.m.

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