2018-03-29 / Sports

Glen Lake falls in state championship game

Injury puts damper on program’s first trip to finals since ‘96
By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor


TOP LEFT: Glen Lake player Xander Okerlund looks to create space between he and Detroit Edison’s Demir Leonard in the Class C title game in East Lansing on Saturday. TOP RIGHT: Glen Lake’s Cade Peterson puts a shot up as Edison’s Deante Johnson defends. BOTTOM LEFT: Peterson reaches toward his ankle after a third-quarter injury. BOTTOM RIGHT: Glen Lake players watch as Edison players collect the state championship trophy after a 53-38 win. TOP LEFT: Glen Lake player Xander Okerlund looks to create space between he and Detroit Edison’s Demir Leonard in the Class C title game in East Lansing on Saturday. TOP RIGHT: Glen Lake’s Cade Peterson puts a shot up as Edison’s Deante Johnson defends. BOTTOM LEFT: Peterson reaches toward his ankle after a third-quarter injury. BOTTOM RIGHT: Glen Lake players watch as Edison players collect the state championship trophy after a 53-38 win. Brian Taylor Jr. drove the baseline, exploded toward the rim for a right-handed flush—and ended up on the floor with the ball behind him.

Cade Peterson’s emphatic block in the third quarter preserved a 22-21 Glen Lake lead and prompted a chorus of “oohs” from the crowd. Glen Lake reserves exploded off the bench, and the student section followed suit.

The play had all the makings of a championship turning point.

It wasn’t.

That moment came less than two minutes later with the score tied 25-25 at the 4:38 mark when Peterson went up for a defensive rebound, landed awkwardly, grabbed his right ankle and dropped to the floor.

“It felt like four pops and my ankle bone touched the floor,” Peterson said. “I couldn’t move it right away. It hurt.”

The 6-foot-6 shot blocker went to the locker room—and the Pioneers took full advantage, opening up a 28-9 run en route to a 53-38 win.

Peterson, who delivered the first dunk of the game in the second quarter, anchored Glen Lake’s 2-3 zone and, without him, Edison and its trio of future Division I players began to pile up dunks and 3-pointers.

“Cade was our rock this year and just led us every step of the way,” said Glen Lake coach Rich Ruelas, whose team finishes 24-3. “He’s such a competitor and we feed off him. I’m going to miss how he brings his leadership every day. He wants to win as much as anybody I’ve ever met.”

The Grand Valley State football commit returned in the fourth quarter, but the damage was done. He finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Detroit Edison big Deante Johnson, a 6-foot-8 Cleveland State commit, was impressed with Peterson’s effort.

“He’s a very, very good player,” said Johnson, who was one of four Pioneers in double figures with 10 points and 11 rebounds. “I’d never heard of him before, but to see him come in and be so competitive with me, it’s a good test for college—I have to study my opponent. He brung it to me and I have to bring it back to him.”

The Lakers were unable to mount much of a comeback in the fourth quarter. The team trailed 19-18 at halftime but by as many as 19 points in the final frame.

Xander Okerlund put together an impressive performance, pouring in a game-high 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting to go with seven rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the surging Pioneers.

Pierre Mitchell Jr., another Cleveland State commit, lit the Lakers up in the third quarter, scoring 14 of his team-high 17 points.

The Lakers shot 34.0 percent from the floor while the Pioneers, who lost 10 games while competing in the Detroit Public School League this season, shot 44.9 percent.

“We thought we were talented enough to compete with anyone,” Pioneers coach Brandon Neely said.

Despite the loss, Ruelas had nothing but good things to say about his team after the game.

They played fearlessly,” he said. “They weren’t afraid of who they played and they followed the gameplan. Things didn’t go our way, but the fight was there. I asked them to be fighters tonight and I thought they did that. Sometimes execution doesn’t work out, but the effort was here. And hey, hats off to that team, that’s a heck of a basketball team.


GLEN LAKE’S Reece Hazelton rejects a Detroit Edison dunk attempt in the first quarter. GLEN LAKE’S Reece Hazelton rejects a Detroit Edison dunk attempt in the first quarter. “These guys are pretty disappointed, but what they need to know is that they need to have their heads held high. It was a heck of a season and a heck of a run. It didn’t finish how we wanted it to, but these guys are champions and they’ll always be champions. They’ll be leaders in life. Cade gets injured and No. 1 hits four 3s. That’s a team that can pour on the points in a hurry. We knew that going in, and I thought we did a good job up until that point, and then things kind of fell apart a little bit. Regardless, I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

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Good Job Guys! We are proud

Good Job Guys! We are proud of you.