Lakers advance to district final with scrappy 35-21 win over Mesick

Bear Lake’s Yuki Babinec goes in for a layup during the Lakers’ 35-21 win over Mesick in their district semifinal game at Brethren on Wednesday. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Bear Lake’s Yuki Babinec goes in for a layup during the Lakers’ 35-21 win over Mesick in their district semifinal game at Brethren on Wednesday. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

BRETHREN — It doesn’t always have to be pretty to get the job done in district play as Bear Lake learned on Wednesday night.

The Lakers advanced to the Class D girls basketball district finals with an ugly 35-21 win over Mesick.

They didn’t shoot the ball well, but solid rebounding and even poorer shooting by the Bulldogs helped Bear Lake (16-5) pull away when it needed to.

“We actually had a pretty good practice yesterday. I was pleased with what we were doing in practice. We had some good shooting. They felt very confident. When they got over here the fire in their eye really wasn’t sparkling,” Bear Lake coach Jeff Harthun said.

“We started off that way. We should be very happy with a big win. We made a lot of mistake that just cannot happen.”

Starting early in the first and going into the middle of the second quarter Bear Lake managed a 17-0 run to go up 20-6. The team did play well in this time and some pressure forced Mesick (1-20) into a couple of turnovers.

The Lakers created some offense with Yuki Babinec slicing in and out of the defense for floaters and Hayley May knocking down a couple of threes to lead 20-9 at the break.

A decent first half was quickly forgotten after a lackluster second. The team had a lead and sat on it for most of the second half. Bear Lake shot 34 percent in the game and a lot of the misses came in the second half.

Despite the second half that was played below par, Bear Lake was able to keep its season alive on Friday with a chance to win a district title. Mesick never scored more than six points in a quarter.

“To me a good team will continue to put their foot on the accelerator. We pushed the clutch in and went back to second gear,” Harthun said.

May led the team with 14 points and 4 rebounds, Babinec had 10 points and 3 rebounds, and Mariah Beaver had 6 points and 7 rebounds. 

Bear Lake will be back on Friday against Brethren. The Lakers have won the first two meetings, but they did so by a combined three points. That game will be at 7 p.m. at Brethren High School.

“I congratulated them on making the championship game. That’s where we want to be, but we have to sure up some things and show up on Friday, otherwise it’s going to get ugly,” Harthun said.

avatar

Posted by Brian Fogg

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

Leave a Reply