Page 1

SPORTS

Page 10, Section 1 Thursday, March 7, 2013

Boys miss out on girls night A column by Mike Spencer

Brengman, who finished with 10 points. “It’s not the way I thought I’d end my career.” Brengman, who went over the 1,000 career point mark last month, had the difficult assignment of trying to stop Erickson. The Gladiators’ top gun went over the 1,000 point mark herself in the third quarter and finished with a game-

It was girls night — the finals of the girls district basketball tournament — Friday night at St. Mary’s gym. Kudos go out to Leland’s girls for winning the Class D tournament over Suttons Bay. Too bad the Suttons Bay basketball community was severely divided on the girls night. The boys junior varsity and varsity teams played a make-up game at Mesick at the same time. It’s a sad commentary that in today’s world, where Title IX is supposed to be a footnote in history and there is supposed to be some kind of equity, that the boys are even allowed to play meaningless regular season games on a special night that was set up just for the girls. It’s not the first time the Michigan High School Athletic Association has allowed either scheduled or make-up games on the special night for the girls, but it should be the last. It’s just not fair for the girls. They should be put on a pedestal when the district title is at stake. Forget the boys and their meaningless make-up games. If the basketball shoe was on the other foot, I can only imagine the uproar. The boys would be furious and the girls might be run out of town. The MHSAA doesn’t have a “set” policy, according to Geoff Kimmerly, the group’s media and content coordinator said this week. But the MHSAA recommends the final boys regular season games to be scheduled on the girls off night during district week. “However, when weather causes a number of postponements like it has this year, it becomes a priority for our boys teams to get in their full schedules — even it means playing on that Wednesday of district semifinals or the Friday of the championship games,” Kimmerly said. I disagree and I have to give credit to Leland’s boys. They did have a Northwest Conference make-up game with Kingsley, too. But it was played on Saturday so the boys were out Friday in full force supporting their girls. I don’t know why Suttons Bay and Mesick couldn’t go that route, too. And I’m not saying that having the Suttons Bay boys on hand to support their girls would have made a difference in the

(Concluded on Page 13)

(Concluded on Page 13)

THE LELAND girls basketball team celebrates its Class D girls district championship Friday night after beating Suttons Bay. Top row, from left, are coach Megan Munoz, Jessica Flees, Lydia Gulow, Maddie Trumbull, Felicia Whittaker, Emma Thomas, Kati Kattelus, and assistant coaches Beth Osorio and Sarah Landry-Ryder. In front row, from left, are Caitlin McKee, Whitney Schaub, Libby Munoz, Maggie Osorio, Sierra Baker, Miranda Harrison and managers Margie Stowe, Maddy Grosvenor and Allie Martin.

THE CHAMPS

Leland turns back Norse By Amy Hubbell Of The Enterprise staff

LELAND PLAYERS hoist the trophy after Friday’s district win.

Leland captured its second straight district crown in Class D girls’ basketball Friday with a 57-32 victory over Suttons Bay. “It’s exciting,” Leland coach Megan Munoz said of winning back-to-back districts. “I felt happy for the kids who hadn’t been a part of it last year ... to see them have a game plan and follow through.” The Comets outscored the Norse 22-7 in the second enroute to their second consecutive district title. The Norse were without senior Chantal Konopka after she split her chin open diving for a ball. Konopka received seven stitches and did not return to

the game. “We played them fairly tight through the end of the first quarter. But they made a big run at us in the second quarter and that really put it out of our reach,” Suttons Bay coach Todd Hursey said. The Norse keyed on Leland freshman Libby Munoz, but other Comets stepped up to ensure the win. Caitlin McKee led Leland with 15 points. Munoz had 12 points, five rebounds and four steals. Freshman Maddie Trumbull contributed 11 Leland advanced to the final with a 50-48 victory over Lake Leelanau St. Mary on Feb. 27. Munoz fouled out with six seconds (Concluded on Page 17)

Glen Lake girls no match for St. Francis in C tournament For the Glen Lake girls basketball team, it was one and done in the Class C district tournament. There was no shame in losing to eventual district champ Traverse City St. Francis, but the 48-28 loss on Feb. 27 left a bitter pill that was a little hard to swallow. The 20-2 Gladiators buried the Lakers with a heavy dose of Liza Erickson early, posting a 17-5 firstquarter edge and never looking back. Erickson had 14 points in the first eight minutes, including three triples. “It’s not what I envisioned,” Glen Lake coach Jason Bradford said after Lakers finished a 16-5 season. “Their in-your-face intensity on defense took us off the ball and made it hard for us to set up something offensively. “Then we got into some foul trouble, were shook up a little bit and became hesitant about driving to the basket.” Two Glen Lake players had three fouls in the first half and another had four. Two of the players fouled out. “It takes you right out of your game

because you can’t be as aggressive,” Bradford said. “And then that slows your offense up, too.” St. Francis, which went on to beat Elk Rapids in the district title game, extended its lead over Glen Lake to

28-12 at the half and 42-18 after three quarters. “Right off the bat we were frazzled a little bit by their defense and we never got our composure on offense,” said Glen Lake’s senior leader Scotlyn

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By Mike Spencer Of The Enterprise staff

SCOTLYN BRENGMAN of Glen Lake holds the ball and looks for a teammate as Lauren Buckel (20) of Traverse City St. Francis defends in the Class C district semifinals last week.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Section 1, Page 13

THE LEELANAU ENTERPRISE

Girls night

HOLLIE DOWD of Glen Lake looks through the Traverse City St. Francis defense in the Class C district game on Feb. 27.

GLEN LAKE coach Jason Bradford follows the Class C district action while kneeling in front of the bench. Lakers, from left, are McKenna Turrill, Katie Stowe, Ty Fessell and Maddy Brown.

Glen Lake girls no match for St. Francis in C tournament high 23. Erickson started the night by draining two treys in the first minute of the game. “Liza came out and hit the first two shots, boom-boom,” Bradford said. “She’s hard to stop. “She has a good rocker step where she goes to the hoop and she can pull up and hit the 15-footer. “And the other girls on her team know when she’s going in, they are looking for

rebounds.” “Liza is a really good player and she’s even better when players set picks for her because she plays right off them,” Brengman said. “We just needed some help here and there for that.” St. Francis coach Mike Knudsen said Erickson, who went over 1,000 with a three-pointer with just over three minutes left in the third quarter, had a memorable night offensively. “Liza played very well tonight, but not a typical one scoring,” Knudsen

Girls Scoring Leaders Player Scotyln Brengman Rachael Thon Casie Plamondon Molly Plamondon Libby Munoz Sarah Plamondon Jordan Peplinski Caitlin McKee Katie Stowe

School Glen Lake St. Mary TCBA TCBA Leland TCBA Glen Lake Leland Glen Lake

GP 18 17 22 22 24 22 18 24 18

Pts. 316 293 313 297 292 279 167 210 153

Ave. 18.6 17.2 14.2 13.5 12.1 12.5 9.2 8.8 8.5

said. “A lot of times, Liza does everything else. “She’s one of the assist leaders, she does the rebounding and she’s always diving for the ball. She does a lot more than just score.” Jordan Peplinski added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who finished the year with two losses each to Lake Michigan co-champ St. Francis and Northwest Conference champ Kinglsey and one with Lake Michigan co-champ Kalkaska. The Gladiators beat Glen Lake 43-36 in the second game of the regular season, but Knudsen wasn’t taking the Lakers lightly. “I was real worried about Glen Lake going into this game,” Knudsen. “Traditionally they are a very good basketball team. “We played them early in the season and last summer, so we knew they were a good team.” Unfortunately, the Lakers didn’t give the Gladiators their best shot. “I’m really sad it’s over,” said Brengman, who also had five rebounds and two steals. “It was a really good season.”

Bradford concurred. “It's the best finish yet,” Bradford said. “But we learned tonight a lot about intense defense and how it can throw somebody’s shot off.” The Lakers will lose three seniors. In addition to Brengman, Bradford will lose Ty Fessell and Kira Surber, a firstyear player. Fessell was a three-year player. “It will be tough to replace Scotlyn,” Bradford said. “She’s a ballhandler and a penetrator. “So next year, we’ll have a different make-up.”

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Continued from Page 10 final outcome, but ... who knows. Their absence was duly noted. St. Mary athletic officials lost a good gate as there were plenty of open seats at the gym Friday. And it didn’t help that the Suttons Bay schools also had a band function going on the same night. I can only imagine how coach Todd Hursey feels. He coached both the junior varsity and varsity girls this winter at Suttons Bay and although the team is in the rebuilding process, the team deserved better support with a district trophy on the line. ••• A shout does have to go out to Traverse City’s Barbara Beckett. The longtime referee, who did her first basketball game in Leland with Elmwood Township’s Vic Trierweiler, will be honored by the MHSAA on March 16 in the girls finals at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center. The first woman to officiate an MHSAA boys basketball final, Beckett will receive the Women in Sports Leadership Award. Beckett, a 30-year official, will be honored at halftime of the Class A girls final. “I pretty much began my officiating career doing St. Mary, Northport, Glen Lake, Leland and Suttons Bay,” Beckett said this week. “All of the athletic directors and coaches in Leelanau gave me a chance and hired this very inexperienced young woman and believed in me.” Beckett said there were no other women officials in this part of northwestern Michigan doing basketball or softball back in the early 1980s. Although ‘retired,’ Beckett serves as a board member and assignor for the Northern Sports Officials Association which provides basketball officials for Leelanau County teams. “I did a ton of those county games back then and still see a lot of people and love to talk about the old times,” she said. “I have great memories of those games.”

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SPORTS

Page 10, Section 1 Thursday, January 17, 2013

A column by Mike Spencer

Early draw ruins the suspense Back in the old days, OK, not so long ago, district basketball draws were held a week before the tournaments were scheduled to begin. There was a lot of anxiety and anticipation for the draws. Everybody was curious who would have to face the best teams in the first round or whether the top two teams would have to tip-off on opening night. Well the suspense is long gone. Since the 2010-11 school year, district draws have been done early. This year, they were due at the Michigan High School Athletic Association just days before Christmas, say Dec. 21. I believe the early announcement of district pairings can be a blessing or a curse. But either way, forget the suspense. It’s a curse if your team has been struggling through a tough season with few wins and you just drew the unbeaten, No. 1 ranked team in the state on Monday night. You might as well start packing the unis today. Megan Munoz of Leland, whose Comets have almost as good a shot as any of the other teams in the Class D district at St. Mary, says it’s a blessing to know your opponent early. “I like the idea of knowing what we’re facing,” she said. “It gives me time to prepare and analyze the opponents we’ll be playing.” Geoff Kimmerly, MHSAA media & content coordinator, says the early draws coincided with the advent of the “nontraditional” draws where larger districts have more than two games on opening night and more than one tournament site. “The earlier draw also gives us more time for assigning officials and makes the entire process more efficient because we and schools can plan earlier,” Kimmerly pointed out. Kimmerly reports there hasn’t been any negative feedback about the early tournament pairings. Still some coaches would have preferred the pairings took place late in the season, like Glen Lake’s Todd Hazelton. “I believe the fun of the tournament was not knowing who you played until a week before,” said Hazelton, who has his Lakers off to a 8-1 start. “Now it is too early and sometimes your focus on scouting and preparation for districts can take away your focus on regular season games. “Winning a conference title is such a grind and is tough to do. I love the tournament but winning your league is a huge accomplishment.” While the Glen Lake boys basketball team will keep its focus on the Northwest Conference championship, most of the other Leelanau County teams are turning their attention away from league title thoughts and toward district title hopes. Even Hazelton is thinking about it. “We have Elk Rapids in the first game and if we win we play East Jordan,” Hazelton said. “The two teams are always tough so it will be tough to get to the final.” If the Lakers reach the finals, they could get a shot at defending champ Traverse City St. Francis. (Concluded on Page 13)

LELAND’S BENCH watches the action closely in Friday’s loss to Glen Lake.

Lakers rally to top Comets By Mike Spencer Of The Enterprise staff

Glen Lake took a first-quarter punch from Leland last week that left two of its starters scoreless and staggering to the bench with personal foul troubles. But the league-leading Lakers not only got themselves off the ropes quickly, they delivered what could be an early TKO to Leland’s Northwest Conference title hopes. Glen Lake, behind Mike O’Brien’s 26 points, defeated Leland 56-36. The Lakers, after Tuesday’s come-frombehind 80-69 win over Elk Rapids, are now 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the NW. “We’re clicking, especially defensively,” Hazelton said after handing Leland its second straight league loss. “We’re quick out front and it’s hard for people to throw an entry pass in or drive by us. “If we can keep improving defensively, I think we’ll be pretty tough to beat.” The Lakers, who host Mesick tonight before traveling next Thursday, Jan. 24 to Frankfort for a battle of unbeaten coleaders, have now won eight straight games. Meanwhile, Suttons Bay picked up its first NW victory. The Norse beat visiting

Buckley last Thursday, 57-24. The Norse return to action Tuesday at St. Mary. The Comets play at Traverse City Christian tonight. Glen Lake stayed in the driver’s seat with its big win at Leland. The Comets played their second straight game without its big man, A.J. Whittaker. He is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his foot. The Comets had the upper hand early thanks to the red-hot shooting of senior Ian Duvall. He had eight of his team-best 14 points in the first quarter. “I told the kids that Leland would probably come out pretty amped up, since they like playing at home,” Hazelton said. “We needed to keep our composure a little bit more. “But credit to Leland, they did a nice job.” Glen Lake, which had O’Brien and Logan LaCross on the bench with two personal fouls for most of the first quarter, got untracked in the second quarter. Behind O’Brien’s 10 points, the Lakers regained the lead and posted a 27-20 halftime advantage. “Anytime you get in foul trouble early, it’s tough,” Hazelton said. “The guys aren’t used to having Mike out there.” (Concluded on Page 13)

LELAND’S MATT Fleis, with the ball, tries to get past Glen Lake defender Parker Kokowicz in Friday night’s game at Leland.

Depleted Glen Lake girls win three in a row By Amy Hubbell Of The Enterprise staff

Glen Lake held two opponents to six or fewer second-half points in the past week to help improve its record to 8-3. This in spite of injuries and the onset of the flu among the girls basketball team. “We had a lot of red-faced players on the court (Tuesday) night. The girls were not feeling well and you could tell,” coach Jason Bradford said after a 46-41 victory over Manton. “That’s not good considering we’re at Frankfort (Friday).” The Lakers were without senior Ty Fessell who was out with the flu and Jordan Peplinski, who had rolled an ankle in another game earlier in the week. Glen Lake started strong with 12 points each in the first and second quarters to take a 24-16 lead at halftime. But the Rangers were on fire after half-

time, outscoring the Lakers 14-11 to cut Glen Lake’s lead to 35-30 at the three-quarter mark. “They had one player who had three points in the first half and ended the night with 18,” Bradford said. “That’s what made the difference for them.” Jessica Lee paced the Lakers with 11 points, seven rebounds. Maddie Brown chipped in eight and had 12 boards. The victory capped a week in which Glen Lake improved its Northwest Conference record to 4-1 with decisive wins over Mesick and Leland. Junior Katie Stowe stepped up and scored a career-high 22 in a 57-24 win over Mesick Friday. She needed to as the Lakers were without Scotlyn Brengmen who sat out with an ankle injury. But it was the Bulldogs who had the edge after one period 12-11. Glen Lake repeated with 11 in the second to take a 22-19 into the locker room at

halftime. After what must have been an inspiration halftime speech, the Lakers topped their first half point total and outscored Mesick 27-3 in the third and held the Bulldogs to just two points in the fourth en route to the Lakers’ fourth conference victory of the season. The game was a little closer Jan. 9 when Glen Lake made the short trip up M-22 to Leland. “We were able to keep it pretty close until the third quarter,” Comet coach Megan Munoz said. “But Libby (Munoz), our ball-handler, got into some foul trouble … we’re still learning how to break the press.” The Lakers led 30-22 at half. But the game was closer than the score appeared as junior Hollie Dowd extended the lead by scoring four of her six points in the final 15 seconds of the period. However, Leland had just one buck-

et in the third and two in the fourth taking sixth loss of the season, 52-28. Brengman had 16 in the effort, Lee, nine. Leland was led by Munoz with 10. It was the first of two losses on the (Concluded on Page 15)

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Section 1, Page 13

THE LEELANAU ENTERPRISE

GLEN LAKE’S Curtis Bunek tries to dribble past Leland’s Dylan Jolliffe in Friday night’s game at Leland.

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DISTRICT PAIRINGS Class C At Traverse City St. Francis Monday, Feb. 25 6 p.m. — Charlevoix vs. Elk Rapids 7:45 p.m. — East Jordan vs. St. Francis Wednesday, Feb. 27 6 p.m. — Boyne City vs. Charlevoix/ Elk Rapids winner 7:45 p.m. — Glen Lake vs. St. Francis/East Jordan winner Friday, March 1 7 p.m. — District championship Winner advances to McBain regional vs. Johannesburg-Lewiston winner Class D At. St. Mary Monday, Feb. 25 7 p.m. — Northport vs. Leland Wednesday, Feb. 27 6 p.m. — St. Mary vs. Northport/ Leland winner Approx. 7:45 p.m. — Suttons Bay vs. GTA Friday, Feb. 29 7 p.m. — District championship Winner advances to Buckley regional vs. Gaylord St. Mary winner BOYS Class C At Boyne City Monday, March 4

5:30 p.m. — Boyne City vs. Charlevoix 7:30 p.m. — Elk Rapids vs. Glen Lake Wednesday, March 6 5:30 p.m. — TC St. Francis vs. Boyne City/Charlevoix winner 7:30 p.m. — East Jordan vs. Glen Lake/Elk Rapids winner Friday, March 8 6 p.m. — District championship Winner advances to TC West regional vs. Alcona winner Class D At Suttons Bay Monday, March 4 7 p.m. — Grand Traverse Academy vs. Northport at Suttons Bay 7 p.m. — TC Prep Academy at Traverse City Christian 7 p.m. — St. Mary at Leland Wednesday, March 6 6 p.m. — Suttons Bay vs. GTA/ Northport winner Approx. 7:45 p.m. — St. Mary/ Leland winner vs. TC Christian/Prep winner Friday, March 8 7 p.m. — District championship Winner advances to TC Central regional vs. Bellaire winner

Early draw ruins the suspense of districts Continued from Page 10 St. Mary girls coach Paula Korson likes knowing now that she’ll play the winner of the Leland/Northport first round game. “Knowing earlier the two teams we may face the second night does help narrow down strategy, but you

could face anyone of the teams, so you just hope your girls are healthy and at the top of their game come the end of February,” Korson said. Veteran St. Mary boys coach Bob Bruder, a former Hall of Fame coach at Fenton, said it really doesn’t matter when you do the draw. “You’re always looking at teams

ahead of time, scouting and narrowing it down to who you might play,” Bruder said. Although it may not matter in the long run, Bruder did concede the old way of not knowing until the eve of district play was more fun. And that’s something must of us can agree on.

Boys Scoring Leaders Player Mike O’Brien, A.J. Whittaker, Bill Stowe, Curtis Bunek, Carter Lee, Brandon McSawby, Ian Duvall Aaron Orban, Logan Mikesell, Jacob Brown,

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AUSTIN FELLOWS of Leland goes up for a shot Friday night as Glen Lake’s Anders Johnson tries to defend from behind.

“That first quarter start was what we were hoping for,” Leland coach Jon Kiessel said. “We played good defense and scored some points. “But they put the brakes on that in a hurry in the second quarter. They turned up the defense and we had too many turnovers.” The Lakers, who held the Comets to two baskets and three free throws in the middle two quarters, led 40-26 after three quarters and never looked back. “I just think our perimeter defense was pretty good tonight,” Hazelton said. “They had a 20-point first half and a 16-point second half and we’ll take that every time ... that’s good defense.” “Leland is a tough place to play in,” said Glen Lake’s Carter Lee, who had 15 points including six to keep the Lakers going in the first eight minutes. “It’s a dungeon and their student section is just vicious. “Last year, the same thing happened. We had foul trouble and lost in triple overtime and everybody fouled out. That was going through my mind early. We just couldn’t let that happen again.” “I don’t think we came out with the intensity that we should have, but we picked it up and got the ‘W,’” O’Brien said. “We played harder and smarter after that first quarter.” In Whittaker’s absence, Duvall was asked to try and defend against O’Brien. “Ian is a fantastic defender and did a great job, but Mike is just so strong and good with the ball. “And Mike was patient and it didn’t bother him not to score.” The Comets, now 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the league, are still trying to figure out where they can replace the 20 points and a lot of boards that Whittaker provided. “We’re working on that,” Kiessel said. The Lakers, who were down 13 points early against Elk Rapids, trailed 24-15 after one quarter and 49-41 at the half. But the Lakers outscored the Elks 20-8 in the third quarter to get the advantage. “It was a great game,” Hazelton said. “It reminded me of the 1980’s, score a lot, give up a lot.” Lee led the comeback with a careerhigh 34 pionts. Curtis Bunek added 18. O’Brien had 19.

Suttons Bay The Norse got 16 points from Aaron Orban and 14 from Logan Mikesell in the Buckley win. The Norse led 12-5 after one quarter and 29-9 by the half. Austin Burminia had 11 for the Bears.

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Continued from Page 10

1-17-13

Lakers rally to top Comets

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Section 1, Page 11

THE LEELANAU ENTERPRISE

Playing like champs till the end A column by Mike Spencer

GLEN LAKE’S boys basketball team celebrates its Class C regional championship win over Shelby last week at Traverse City West’s gym.

A Night to Remember

Lakers rally from 7 down to victory the other end of the court with a turnover. Glen Lake quickly got up the court. Bunek missed a jumper in the lane and an airborne LaCross put the rebound back up and in. “We run that East Catholic offense and Curtis got the look we wanted and it was a great shot,” Hazelton said. “It just rimmed out and Logan did a great job of crashing the boards.” Shelby scored first on a free throw by junior Andrew Beckman, who led the Tigers with 16 points. But the Lakers went on a 6-0 run — a basket and two free throws by O’Brien and a bucket by Bunek — and never trailed again although Shelby didn’t give up easily. Shelby went on a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to 61-60 with under a minute left in overtime. However, O’Brien made two free throws and Peters countered with a layup. Carter Lee, who scored 24 points for Glen Lake, added a free throw with 10.9 seconds left. The Tigers

then missed a couple of shots that could have forced another overtime and Glen Lake started celebrating the acquisition of its third straight trophy. The Lakers won the Northwest Conference championship at home on Feb. 22 and the district trophy at Boyne City on March 1. “In the overtime, we said ‘This is our four minutes. This is our time to go the quarterfinals,” Hazelton said. “And we just kept fighting.” Especially Kokowicz and LaCross, who had nothing in the scoring column for the first 31 minutes and 50 seconds of the game. In the first 24 minutes, O’Brien and Lee had accounted for all but two of Glen Lake’s 38 points. “I was a worried the others weren't scoring, but I didn’t say thing at halftime because I knew our guys were going to step up and make plays,” Lee said. “Mike and Carter are the horses — they are our scorers,” Hazelton said. “It may take a while for the

others to get going offensively, but as long as they can play good defense, I can live with them missing shots.” “Sometimes it just happens that you miss shots,” said LaCross, who grabbed eight rebounds and had (Concluded on Page 13)

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LOGAN LACROSS of Glen Lake eyes up the basket in the first quarter against Shelby last week. Shelby’s Andrew Beckman (21) tries to get a hand on the ball.

(Concluded on Page 12)

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Got a second. That’s all the 6-foot-3 junior Logan LaCross needed to save the day for the Glen Lake boys basketball team in the Class C regional championship game against Shelby last week. LaCross put back a missed shot by Curtis Bunek to beat the fourthquarter buzzer and send the Lakers into overtime on March 6. Glen Lake went on to outscore the Tigers 9-7 and beat Shelby 64-62 in the extra four-minute session before 2,400 fans in Traverse City West’s gym. “That was the most amazing experience ever,” LaCross said after the 23-2 Lakers reached the quarterfinals for the first time since 1996. “I just wanted to get the rebound and put it back in because I knew we were running out of time. “I knew I had it.” The basket by LaCross capped an improbable last-minute comeback that saw the Lakers score seven unanswered points in 17 seconds. “After that buzzer-beater to tie, we had the momentum and we knew we were going to win it,” said Bunek, who scored five on his nine points in the fourth quarter. “It’s just the mindset that we have, we’re not quitters,” said senior Mike O’Brien, who led the way with 26 points and nine rebounds. “It’s a testament to how much gumption we have to come down and hit huge shots. “It was great ... the best feeling ever.” It looked like Glen Lake’s postseason party was over when Shane Kajtazi scored an uncontested layup with 25 seconds to play to put Shelby up 55-48. However, Glen Lake got the ball down quickly and Carter Lee hit a pull-up jumper with 16.7 seconds to go. After a time out, Shelby threw its in-bound pass into the Glen Lake bench. The Lakers not only had a successful throw-in, O’Brien found Parker Kokowicz open for a three and the senior point guard drained his first bucket of the game to make it 55-53 with 9.6 to play. “These seniors trust each other,” Glen Lake coach Todd Hazelton said. “Even though Parker hadn’t scored all night, Mike found him for that shot. “And he buried it.” After another Glen Lake time out, Shelby's long throw-in terminated at

3-21-13

By Mike Spencer Of The Enterprise staff

I can’t tell you if Glen Lake’s 64-62 overtime victory to claim the Class C regional last week was the greatest comeback victory in Leelanau County sports history. I haven’t been covering high school sports in this neck of northwestern Michigan long enough — just two seasons. But I can tell you, after playing high school hoops and covering it for 35 years, it was as sweet as the maple syrup in this county. So can the hundreds of Glen Lake supporters who made the trip last week to Traverse City West. I heard at least one guy gave up on the Lakers as the final seconds ticked away. He got in his car and started to drive away when the Lakers were down by seven points with 25 seconds to play. His friend called him minutes later to tell him to come back, the game was going overtime. You can call Glen Lake’s regional championship a lot of things. Some say it’s better to be lucky than good. I say Glen Lake was both this March 6 night. How does a team come back from a seven-point deficit in a flash like the Lakers did? I’m still scratching my head. I remember Carter Lee quickly getting down the floor and knocking

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Page 12, Section 1

THE LEELANAU ENTERPRISE

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Playing like champs till the end Continued from Page 11

MARK MATTSON, holding the trophy, and Glen Lake coach Todd Hazelton embrace last week after the Lakers won the Class C regional championship game against Shelby, 64-62, in overtime.

PAUL KOKOWICZ, father of Glen Lake point guard Parker Kokowicz, prays for the Lakers in their regional comeback victory.

down a pull-up jumper to cut the deficit to five points. Then I saw a Shelby player throw the ball right into the Glen Lake bench with the inbound pass, almost like he was giving the game away. I remember seeing a lot of other things like Paul Kokowicz on his knees in the gym’s southeast corner praying for a victory. Maybe his son Parker got some of that divine inspiration. How else can you explain Parker knocking down his only basket of the game from near the Glen Lake bench with just under 10 seconds to play. And then Glen Lake may have caught the biggest break of the night when assistant coach Rich Ruelas was able to get an official to grant him a quick time out after Parker’s long shot cleared the nylon cords. Head coach Todd Hazelton was too busy directing the defense to think about calling a time out. “I was down by the water (jug), trying to tell the guys to guard somebody,” Hazelton said. “Then Rich Ruelas called time out. “I’ve owe him big-time!” When Shelby went to throw the ball inbounds with 9.6 seconds to play, the Tigers went for it all — hurling a length of the court pass that a Shelby player couldn’t save from going out of bounds. Glen Lake got the ball back, but had to go the length of the court. “We just knew we had to go to the basket and ... ” It was just enough time for Logan LaCross to tie things. While Glen Lake fans went wild, Shelby’s fans were stunned. And there was Hazelton, with a lot of adrenaline, jumping up like he was going for a slam dunk like he did in 1987 while wearing a Laker

uniform. Hazelton, who looked like he was doing a high jump after his team beat the fourth-quarter buzzer with a basket, pumped his fist repeatedly from the end of regulation until the end of overtime. It looked like Hazelton was celebrating a win that wasn’t recorded yet. In his mind, though, the Lakers had it won. They had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, although it took four minutes of overtime to make it official. “For some weird thing, even when I was playing, the team that scores first in overtime, usually loses and they scored on a free throw,” Hazelton confessed. Overtime for me was anticlimactic, especially when the Lakers went on a 6-0 run during a one-minute span. Still, like everyone, I had to wait until the final 0.4 seconds when the Tigers had a throw-in under Glen Lake’s basket that resulted in a missed shot. What a game! What a game! All that was left was for Glen Lake players to pick up their individual medals and for Hazelton to embrace Mark Matson, the school’s athletic director, at center court holding the trophy. Hazelton didn’t have much time to raise it when there was a flash mob at the center circle. Seconds later, Hazelton was flat on his back — knocked down by a sea of Laker supporters. Hazelton, being a good sport, shook it off. “I was just taking a charge,” he said. “And I was showing the guys how you do it.” It was fitting because on this night, the Lakers were knocking down anyone who got in their way to the quarterfinals.

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SATURDAY Baseball: Glen Lake/Beal City winner vs. New Lothrop/GP Woods winner in Division 4 state finals, Battle Creek C.O. Brown Stadium, 6:30 p.m. Golf: Suttons Bay at Division 4 state finals, East Lansing Forest Akers East, 8 a.m.

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Golf: Suttons Bay at Division 4 state finals, East Lansing Forest Akers East, 9 a.m.

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Baseball: Glen Lake vs. Beal City (34-2) in Division 4 state semis, Battle Creek C.O. Brown Stadium, 5 p.m., New Lothrop vs. Grosse Pointe Woods Liggett, 4 p.m.

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