EAST LANSING - The Glen Lake girls basketball team is state championship-bound after a 49-31 victory over Adrian Lenawee Christian in the Div. 4 State Semifinals on Thursday night.
Both teams struggled to find their footing in the early going but once Glen Lake settled in, the Lakers never took their foot off the gas.
Lenawee Christian took a 1-0 lead with a free throw and that was the only time the Lakers trailed in the game.
Glen Lake was especially dominant on the offensive boards as the team secured 20 offensive rebounds, including 16 in the first half.
Seniors Maddie Bradford and Ruby Hogan led the way with 18 points and 13 points, respectively.
This was the second straight season Glen Lake has reached the Breslin Center. Last year, the Lakers were in the Div. 3 tournament and lost in the state semifinals. Head coach Jason Bradford said this time around, the journey to the Breslin Center felt less hectic, and playing in the semifinal game that tipped off at 7:30 p.m. was a contributing factor.
“It just seems like the stars are aligning,” said Bradford. “We did a little shootaround at school, took off, stopped and got something to eat. We had our pregame dinner like we usually do at 4:30. So it was alike another business trip and we cashed our ticket in. We’ve been down here. This is our fourth trip down here. But to get over that hump? They got it done today so it’s exciting for them.”
While Glen Lake had been on this stage before, there were still jitters early in the game. Glen Lake attempted 20 shots in the first quarter but made just three of them. Somehow, the Lakers still held a 10-4 lead after the first.
“It’s on a bigger stage so nerves are going to come but like coach said, [it was important] getting that out in the first quarter,” said senior Ruby Hogan. “You know it’s going to be there and you know you’re going to have slip-ups because you’re just getting used to the big crowd and the big stage. So it’s just being able to bounce back from that in the second quarter and second half and finishing those shots that you may have missed in the first quarter.”
Glen Lake will face Baraga for the Div. 4 State Championship on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.