Early Jitters Fade Away as Glen Lake Makes Way to Championship Day

By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com

March 16, 2023

EAST LANSING — As far as a good sign despite futility goes, this couldn’t have been any better for Maple City Glen Lake in its Division 4 Semifinal against Adrian Lenawee Christian on Thursday.

Glen Lake had shot 3 of 20 from the field in the first quarter, despite many of those opportunities coming from close range near the basket. 

But the Lakers still led 10-4. 

From there, the shooting picked up and so did the lead throughout the next three quarters for Glen Lake, which ended up surging to a 49-31 win. 

The Lakers will attempt to win their first Finals championship since claiming the Class D title in 1978 when they meet Baraga at 10 a.m. Saturday. 

“You felt their nerves,” Glen Lake head coach Jason Bradford said. “I just told them at halftime to slow it down. Slow it down, face up, see that hoop and put it in. I think the nerves got a little bit better in the second half, and they had better composure.”

Players scramble for a loose ball during the Lakers’ eventual 49-31 victory.Glen Lake started to find the basket more in the second quarter, scoring 15 points in the frame to take a 25-11 lead into halftime. 

The Lakers built their lead to 18 points at 31-13 with 5:13 remaining in the third quarter and held a 37-20 lead going into the fourth. 

Glen Lake took a 45-24 lead with 4:50 left and was never threatened. 

Senior Maddie Bradford had 18 points and 12 rebounds, and senior Ruby Hogan nearly had a triple-double registering 13 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds to lead the way for Glen Lake (25-2).

The Lakers dominated the boards, outrebounding Lenawee Christian by a 47-30 margin and collecting 20 offensive rebounds. 

“I think that was huge,” Jason Bradford said. “Rebound, rebound. We preach it in practice, and we’re always working on that. You have to be aggressive. Rebounds are kind of like extra (possessions) and free points.” 

Isabelle Kirkendall scored 11 points and Avery Sluss added eight for the Cougars (18-11). 

Lenawee Christian returned to the Semifinals despite losing four starters from last year’s team, this time guided by first-year head coach Emilie Beach. 

“Big picture, this is so special,” Beach said. “At our school, it seems like the norm to win your District, win your Regional and get to the Final Four. This is so special.” 

Glen Lake was making its second-straight Semifinal trip as well after losing in Division 3 a year ago, and seemed to overall benefit from that experience despite the slow start offensively.

“Nerves are going to come,” Hogan said. “You know it’s going to be there, and you’re going to have slip-ups because you are getting used to the big crowd at this stage. Just being able to bounce back from that in the second quarter and second half and making those shots you missed in the first quarter (was nice).”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Glen Lake’s Jessie Pugh (14) gets through the lane and to the basket during Thursday’s second Division 4 Semifinal at Breslin Center. (Middle) Players scramble for a loose ball during the Lakers’ eventual 49-31 victory.

Performance of the Week: Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner

March 24, 2023

Regan FinkbeinerRegan Finkbeiner ♦ Hemlock
Senior ♦ Basketball

The 5-foot-6 guard capped her high school career at Breslin Center over the weekend with team highs of 24 points and four steals in Thursday’s 57-26 Division 3 Semifinal win over Hart and the team-leading 19 points and four assists in the 59-43 win over Blissfield on Saturday that clinched the Huskies their first MHSAA Finals championship in girls basketball.

Finkbeiner played all but four minutes of 64 total over the two games, and she made a combined 15 of her 27 shots from the floor and 9 of 10 free throw attempts, plus four 3-pointers in the Final. She had entered the season’s final week averaging 17.1 points, 3.5 assists and 4.8 steals per game and in February became the program’s all-time leading scorer breaking the previous record of 1,302. A standout in multiple sports, she’s committed to continue playing softball after high school at Madonna University. Her basketball team finished 26-3 this winter.

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2022-23 Honorees

March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9:
Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2:
Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23:
Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16:
Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9:
Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2:
Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26:
Shayne Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19:
Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

PHOTO Hemlock's Regan Finkbeiner drives to the basket during her team's Semifinal win over Hart. (Photos courtesy of the Hemlock girls basketball program.)