BUCKLEY — The Gaylord St. Mary girls will be attempting to win back-to-back regional basketball titles for the second time in school history.
Bear Lake will be seeking its first ever regional crown.
That's the scenario for Thursday when the two teams collide for the Class D regional title at Buckley.
Bear Lake (18-5) advanced with a 50-47 win over Manistee Catholic in the opener of a Tuesday doubleheader here. Gaylord St. Mary claimed the nightcap, scoring the game's first 19 points en route to a 60-28 win over Leland.
"We're looking forward to Thursday night's match-up," St. Mary coach Dan Smith said. "Bear Lake has a couple big girls that played very well tonight. We'll be focused on them for the next 48 hours."
Those two girls, Emileigh Ferguson and Hannah Harrington, accounted for 42 of Bear Lake's 50 points. Ferguson finished with 25, Harrington 17.
"They're a nice combination," Bear Lake coach Scott Brown said. "Hannah missed the first 10 games with a knee injury, but she's playing at 100 percent now."
Bear Lake and Manistee Catholic split a pair of games during the regular season with each team winning on its home court.
The Lakers led by seven in the opening minute of the third quarter, but Manistee Catholic rallied to take its lone lead in the second half, 33-32, on an Ashlyn Jansma 3-pointer. Ferguson and Harrington scored the next seven points to put Bear Lake back in charge.
Now, the Lakers are a win away from making history.
"It's (regional title) never been done at Bear Lake," Brown said. "We're working on making this the first one."
It will not be easy. St. Mary dominated from the start in sending Leland to the sidelines. The Snowbirds led 21-2 after the first quarter and 39-10 at half. It was 51-10 with 4:39 left in the third quarter when Smith pulled his starters.