Lady Lakers defeat GTA

Bear Lake’s Wren Gilbert (10) goes up for 2 of her team-high 18 points in the Lakers’ 47-44 win over Grand Travers Academy on Wednesday.   (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Bear Lake’s Wren Gilbert (10) goes up for 2 of her team-high 18 points in the Lakers’ 47-44 win over Grand Travers Academy on Wednesday. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

BEAR LAKE — After a bumpy start to the season Bear Lake is now starting to figure out how to win some basketball games.

On Wednesday they won their second game in a row in a 47-44 nail-biter against the Grand Traverse Academy.

“We started working together and we played better defense. We’re looking for each other and we’re more of a team now that we were early in the season,” senior forward Wren Gilbert said.

In a game that both teams rallied for their own time, the Lakers were able to have the final run.

The game came down to the final possessions but the Lakers sealed the victory when Gilbert scored two of her 18 points to break the 44-44 tie with 17 seconds remaining.

“Yesterday we had a snow day at school, and we didn’t get in here. I was very worried about coming in here to play with out a practice, but they did just fine,” Bear Lake head coach Jeff Harthun said.

The two teams were neck and neck all the way through the game, but the Mustangs held a lead at halftime at 27-23.

The Lakers rallied throughout the entire second half with a stingy defense and aggressive rebounding.

In the fourth quarter the Lakers took the lead with two baskets in six-second span.

Yuki Babinec made a floater in the lane before stealing the inbounds and passing the ball over to Cheyenne Buckner for a layup to make the game 40-39.

The Mustangs tied the game at 44 with 42 seconds on the clock.

On the subsequent possession Babinec drove to the basket only to find Gilbert at the block for the game-winning shot.

Along with the 18 points, Gilbert also had 14 rebounds.

“She had a good game. It’s been going to happen for her for a while. I think she’s figured it out. We still need to work on the ball-fake, but once that is taught, it’s going to be even more,” Harthun said.

Babinec had nine points and three assists, Buckner had six points, five rebounds, and five assists and Hayley May had seven points and six rebounds.

Bear Lake struggled out of the gate this season, but they believe that they have finally turned the corner at about midseason.

“We’re more comfortable with each other. We’re more of a family now,” Gilbert said.

“When they start doing the little things that make up basketball, then it makes life a whole lot easier,” Harthun said. “I will give them all the credit in the world. They listen to everything I say, they take it with a grain of salt, they open their minds up to it, they try it, and it works for them. When I don’t have to yell and scream — I love it. I can just sit there and enjoy the game.”

The Lakers (3-6, 2-5) will host conference rival Onekama (6-2, 5-2) on Friday evening.

“We have six weeks until districts to work. Who knows what’s going to happen then?” Harthun said.


Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or

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