East Lansing – Reece Hazelton and Maple City Glen Lake ended Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central’s perfect season Thursday with a 62-56 victory in a Class C state semifinal at the Breslin Center.
Hazelton, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard, set the tempo, scoring 11 and making three 3-pointers to give Glen Lake a 14-9 lead with a minute left in the opening quarter.
Hazelton made sure MSMCC’s student section knew all about it, turning to the large crowd and smiling at them after every made shot.
Glen Lake didn’t stop the long-range shooting with Cade Peterson and Xander Okerlund making consecutive 3-pointers to open a 23-15 lead.
At the time, Glen Lake (24-2) had made 6-of-9 3-pointers and it used the momentum to build a 30-17 lead before MSMCC (25-1) started its comeback.
“Reece is our emotional leader and he exudes confidence and we feed off of that,” said Glen Lake coach Rich Ruelas of Hazelton, who finished with 19 points, making 5-of-8 from long range. “I thought we did a really nice job of not forcing the shots. We try to play inside-out. We really want to make the defense work, get it down low, then kick it out.”
Things turned quickly for Glen Lake, which attempted an alley-oop pass to Peterson, who missed the pass and then held on to the rim for a technical foul.
Instead of an alley-oop dunk and 15-point lead, MSMCC responded with a seven-point play. Not only did Tyler Welch make both free throws off the technical, his teammate Mitchel Sherrard followed with a 3-pointer while there was a foul away from the play, and Welch made two more free throws to pull MSMCC within 30-24.
MSMCC cut the deficit to 34-30 at halftime and the game was close the rest of the way with MSMCC actually having a chance to tie or take the lead in the final minute.
With Glen Lake holding a 56-54 lead, it successfully broke the press only to turn the ball over, with Sherrard getting a steal near the free-throw line.
Unfortunately for MSMCC, it never got a shot off, turning the ball over with 25 seconds left.
“We wanted to get Hunter (guard Kegley) off the dribble, get him the ball off the screen or dump it in to T.J. (6-8 senior center Haut),” said MSMCC coach Randy Windham of what he wanted to happen with a state championship game appearance on the line.
Instead, MSMCC turned it over and Hazelton made two free throws at the other end after getting fouled.
MSMCC turned it over again on its next possession, resulting in a steal by Okerlund, who made two more free throws for a 60-54 cushion.
MSMCC shot 52.3 percent from the field (23-of-44) and held a 27-22 rebounding advantage, but Glen Lake’s 10-of-22 shooting from 3-point range was the difference.
Glen Lake had just three players score with Okerlund getting 23, making 4-of-9 3-pointers, Peterson scoring 20 and Hazelton 19.
Haut led MSMCC with a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds), Kegley scored 13 and Sherrard and Welch each scored 10.
All games at Breslin Center
Detroit Edison 55, GR Covenant Christian 43
Maple City Glen Lake 62, Monroe St. Mary CC 56
Final: 4:30 p.m., Saturday
Southfield Christian 71, Dollar Bay 32
Buckley 65, Hillsdale Academy 55
Final: 10 a.m., Saturday
Warren De La Salle (19-7) vs. Clarkston (24-1), noon
Holland West Ottawa (24-2) vs. Novi (17-8), 2
Final: 12:15, Saturday
Benton Harbor (25-1) vs. River Rouge (23-1), 5:30
New Haven (26-0) vs. Grand Rapids CC (23-2), 7:30
Final: 6:45, Saturday