Glen Lake 'Slams the Door' on 1st Finals Championship Since 1978

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

March 18, 2023

EAST LANSING – The motto this postseason for the Maple City Glen Lake girls basketball team was “Slam the door.”

But at halftime of Saturday’s MHSAA Division 4 Final against Baraga, the Lakers still had to find their own way through it.

Thanks to suffocating second-half defense and the inside-outside combination of seniors Ruby Hogan and Maddie Bradford, Glen Lake ran through and slammed the door on a 60-43 win, claiming its first Finals title since 1978.

“We knew we had to come out in the second half like we had in the past few games and just take it to them and be focused,” Hogan said. “Work on our offense, work on our defense and don’t foul them. Then things would come our way. Our motto for the postseason has been ‘Slam the door’ and we definitely have been a second-half team this postseason. Today we proved that again.”

Hogan had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Lakers, who were making their first Finals appearance since 1979. 

“It’s amazing,” said Glen Lake senior guard Gemma Lerchen, who had six assists. “It’s unbelievable to finally be able to get it done. It’s been forever that we’ve worked for this. Through the summer, through the whole year. It just feels so good to get it done.”

The Lakers’ Maddie Bradford (10) works to get up a shot while defended by Jaycee Larson.Glen Lake coach Jason Bradford, who is in his 15th season at the helm, was well aware of the program’s history and the Finals drought. 

His teams have had plenty of success, winning more than 280 games and stepping up their postseason success in recent years, winning Regional titles in five of the past seven seasons.

And when he woke up to hear those traveling from Glen Lake would have to brave a snowstorm to get to the Breslin Center, he became even more confident this could be the year.

“Like I said on Thursday, it seems like the stars were all lining up,” he said. “It’s been 45 years, and 45 years ago, there was a snowstorm (on the day of the Final). My wife called just after 6 (a.m.) and said they were a bit behind with the snowstorm. I looked out the window and I was like, ‘That’s a good sign.’ But it’s unbelievable. We knew we were capable of doing it.”

Maddie Bradford, Jason’s daughter, led all scorers with 28 points. She also had eight rebounds. Eleanor Valkner added 11 rebounds.

Sixteen of those points, and 17 of Hogan’s, came in the second half as the Lakers turned the tide in a game during which they trailed by five at halftime.

“I just focused on, if I’m not open and not able to hit those shots, I trust my team,” Hogan said. “That’s what I need to do and that’s what all of us need to do, is trust each other. If I’m not open and I’m not hitting my shots, then Maddie can and Jessie (Pugh) can and Olivia (Mikowski) can. I know that I’ll have my time when I’m needing to make shots. But in the first half, it just wasn’t my time. It was my time to play defense and my time to pass the ball.”

The first half was the time for Baraga star guard Corina Jahfetson to hit shots, as she scored 14 of her 20 points in the opening 16 minutes, including four 3-pointers. Glen Lake held her to six points and 2 of 15 shooting, including 1 of 12 from 3, in the second half.

Ruby Hogan (20) gets to the basket.“It was not really the attention factor, I was just not feeling it in that second half,” Jahfetson said. “I kept trying to push it through and do what I had to do.”

As a team, Baraga struggled from the field in the second half as Glen Lake’s defense improved. The Vikings (23-6) were 4 of 22 from the field in the second half, and went scoreless for more than 5 minutes at one point in the third quarter.

“We came out better than we usually do in the first half,” Baraga coach Tyler Larson said. “We’re used to playing from behind in a lot of games. I thought we had a great start, things were falling in our favor. We came out in the second half, they made some good adjustments, credit to them. Some of the size factor played in there. I think we needed to do a better job boxing out, and transition points that we didn’t want to let up. That’s a good ballclub right there that we just played, and our girls fought to the end. Just really proud of what they’ve done this game and all season long.”

Makenna Hendrickson had 14 points for Baraga, while Jahfetson added seven rebounds to her 20 points in Baraga’s first Finals appearance.

“It means so much to be here sitting with these girls and coach Ty,” Jahfetson said. “I’m happy that we’re state runner-up. It would have been amazing to be No. 1, but not everything works out that way.”

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PHOTOS (Top) Maple City Glen Lake celebrates its Division 4 championship Saturday as coach Jason Bradford presents the trophy to his team. (Middle) The Lakers’ Maddie Bradford (10) works to get up a shot while defended by Jaycee Larson. (Below) Ruby Hogan (20) gets to the basket.

St. George's Senior Season Filled with Historic Trip, Sizzling 3-Point Shooting

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

May 21, 2024

Delaney St. George helped Kingston reach its first MHSAA Girls Basketball Final this winter – and along the way finished her high school career among the most prolific 3-point shooters in state history.

The four-year varsity senior made 87 3-pointers this season for the Division 4 runner-up Cardinals, good to tie for 10th on the single-season list after she made 93 as a junior to rank fourth all-time.

She finished her Kingston career with 290 3-pointers in 793 attempts over 94 games – good for second on the career 3-pointers list.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA girls basketball record book, and click on the heading to see the record book in full.

Girls Basketball

Hemlock’s 18-6 run this season was fueled in part by more successful 3-point shooting. The Huskies made single-season lists with 170 3-pointers and 552 attempts, and also for making 14 3-pointers Jan. 5 against St. Louis.

Senior Mia McLaughlin made nine of 15 3-point shots for Frankenmuth in a Feb. 6 win over Birch Run as the Eagles made the team record book list with 15 3-pointers total. They also were added for 14 3-pointers in a Feb. 20 win over Bay City John Glenn. McLaughlin will continue her career at Ferris State.

McBain sophomore Peyton Grant scored all 27 of her points Jan. 17 against Houghton Lake on nine 3-pointers to make the single-game list in that category.

Seniors Autumn Tremblay and Ceara LeBlanc earned Brimley’s first girls basketball record book listings this season. Both made single-game lists in a Feb. 27 win over Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian – Tremblay scored 21 points during the first quarter and LeBlanc had 16 steals for the game – and LeBlanc also was added for 141 steals total over 25 games this past winter.

Reed City’s run at the Central State Activities Association title this winter was fueled in part by 3-point shooting. The Coyotes finished one game out of first, but made the records with 517 3-point attempts over 24 games – and just missed the made 3-pointers list connecting on 143.

Howell sophomore Gabrielle Piepho added her third record book listing over her first two seasons this winter making 89.2 percent of her free throw attempts to rank eighth on that single-season list. Howell as a team also made the 3-point attempts list with 536 over 25 games, and also just missed the 3-pointers made list with 146.

Saline finished the 2023-24 season among the all-time leading 3-point shooters again, this time with 192 – 14th-most for one season – in 587 attempts over 24 games. Sophomore Keira Roehm led the way with 78 3-pointers, tying for 21st on that list.

Junior Tamerah Peterson led Sterling Heights Parkway Christian to a District title this season, providing a record-setting defensive boost in addition to her offensive skills. She finished with 173 steals – eighth-most for one season – over 21 games.

Niles Brandywine reached Breslin Center this season with another stellar distance shooting display, making the record book with both 186 3-pointers and 610 attempts from beyond the arc in finishing Division 3 runner-up.

Alie Bisballe capped her career at Lake City this winter by helping her team reach the Division 3 Semifinal at Breslin Center – and by reaching the MHSAA girls basketball record book in two categories. The 6-foot-4 post player made the lists with 329 rebounds and 188 blocked shots, both in 28 games as Lake City finished 25-3. She will continue her career at Wisconsin.

Ironwood junior Hanna Vaughn will enter her final season next winter already on the career 3-pointers list. She’s made 155 3-pointers over her first three seasons and 70 games on varsity.

PHOTO Kingston’s Delaney St. George (10) pulls up for a shot during the Division 4 Final against Ishpeming.