EAST LANSING - The Glen Lake Lakers defeated Baraga 60-43 in the MHSAA Div. 4 State Championship game on Saturday, bringing home the second state title in program history and the first since 1978.
Seniors Maddie Bradford and Ruby Hogan led the way for Glen Lake with 28 and 19 points, respectively.
The Lakers struggled for much of the first half as they just couldn’t get shots to fall. On the other side, Baraga’s Corina Jahfetson was knocking down shot after shot. She went 4-for-6 from three-point range in the first half, helping the Vikings build a 27-22 halftime lead.
But the second half was a completely different story.
The Lakers found their offense and once they got rolling, Baraga could not slow them down. A fast break lay-up by Bradford gave Glen Lake the lead, 32-31, midway through the third quarter.
The Lakers never trailed again.
In total, Glen Lake outscored Baraga 38-16 in a dominant second half to bring home the state championship.
“The group of girls that I have, the whole team, they just knew it was possible,” said head coach Jason Bradford. “But for it to actually come true, you get to the last three times you were down here, it’s like, is it ever going to be there? And we got it done. Coming in, they were hitting those threes. It was just like stay focused, stay focused. We knew we could climb back and get into it.”
Glen Lake’s second half dominance is a variation on a familiar theme for the Lakers this postseason.
“Our motto for the past postseason has been ‘slam the door’ and we definitely have been a second half team this postseason,” said senior Ruby Hogan. “Today we proved that again.”
For Hogan, Bradford and the team’s two other seniors, Gemma Lerchen and Olivia Mikowski, Saturday’s victory was the realization of a lifelong dream.
“I’ve been with these girls since third grade, even before that, playing basketball and watching basketball together,” said Hogan. “So it’s just crazy that we’ve grown from such a young age and we’ve now had a chance to do exactly what we wanted to do our whole lives.”
This was the fourth time Glen Lake made it down to the Breslin Center since 2017 and the first time in that stretch that they had reached the state championship game.
As a school, Glen Lake has made it to at least the state semifinals in girls basketball, boys basketball, football and baseball in the last five years. This was the first time that a Lakers team has brought home the state championship in that stretch.
“I think that having all our community here, it’s not just us as a team and as coaches, but it’s something for our whole community to celebrate. It’s incredible,” said Hogan.