EAST LANSING — Liz Moeggenberg carried Jessica Robbins off the Breslin Center court Thursday.

Robbins and Grace Bradford helped carry Glen Lake there in the first place.

The Lakers fell to No. 1-ranked Ypsilanti Arbor Prep, 57-44, in the Division 3 girls basketball state semifinals at Michigan State University. The appearance was Glen Lake’s third trip in six years to the Final Four.

“It sucks, but we got pretty far,” said Robbins, a senior forward. “It’s always been a goal to get to Breslin, so even though we lost, I’m really proud of everybody that contributed. What can you do?”

Robbins injured her right knee with 7:30 remaining in the game in a collision with an Ypsilanti player. As Arbor Prep pulled away in the fourth quarter, fellow senior Makenna Scott came over and hugged Robbins with three minutes left as athletic trainer Christiaan Krombeen iced the knee.

Robbins still came to the postgame press conference with the help of coaches as one of the team’s two senior starters, along with Bradford. Her elevated right leg poked through the cloth covering at the podium as she, Grace Bradford and Jason Bradford talked about the game.

“I’m super proud of our whole team,” Grace Bradford said. “Up to this point, we were undefeated. We never gave up throughout this game. That was our motto was always push through all obstacles. We did struggle offensively a little bit, but we kept pushing each other. That was big, but we came up short. But we made it here, too, which is really cool.”

The Lakers finish the season 25-1.

Ypsilanti (24-2) led 26-21 at halftime, with the No. 3-ranked Lakers pulling within two points on a Robbins fast-break bucket just over a minute into the second half.

The Gators went on a 10-0 run soon after and largely controlled the game the rest of the way, maintaining a lead in the teens until a 5-0 Glen Lake run to start the fourth quarter made it a 10-point game.

“I said if we could control and get past that trap we’d be fine,” Jason Bradford said. “We had kind of a little hiccup when we had that 10-15-point swing when we were not able to get through the trap and take care of the ball.”

The Lakers finished with 21 turnovers to Ypsilanti’s nine, although Gators head coach Scott Stine said his team usually forces about 25 turnovers a game.

“Our shooting was uncharacteristically terrible the first half,” Stine said. “The second half, we played a little bit more like (ourselves).”

Arbor Prep guard Mya Petticord, a Miss Basketball finalist, led all scorers with 20 points, adding four steals and a 9-for-9 effort at the line. The Lakers held the Texas A&M commit to 5-for-18 shooting from the field.

“I was nervous at first and missed a couple defensive principles,” Petticord said. “But in the second half, I picked it up a little bit and the team picked it up a bit.”

Karianna Woods added 10 points and six assists, and twin 5-foot-11 sisters Stacy and Stephanie Utomi combined for 17 rebounds, 14 points, two assists and five steals. Taylor Wallace added eight points off the bench, and Jazmin Chupp scored five.

Grace Bradford led the Lakers with 17 points, 13 rebounds (six offensive), two assists and a block, often going toe-to-toe with Petticord on defense.

Ruby Hogan scored 10 points, and Maddie Bradford and Robbins each had seven. Maddie Bradford grabbed six rebounds, and Gemma Lerchen had four.

“Every single one of these girls, they’ve been together since third grade,” Jason Bradford said. “That’s a special thing. They step on the floor and they know the meaning of winning.”

Arbor Prep hadn’t been to the semifinals since the 2017-18 season, falling to Pewamo-Westphalia — the same team that topped Glen Lake in the 2017 semis. The Gators topped the Lakers 53-35 in a 2018 semifinal.

“We struggled to get into our offense a little bit, and that’s with their pressure,” Lakers’ head coach Jason Bradford said. “A few of the girls caught on but got in a little foul trouble there, and they kind of slowed us down a little bit on defense.”

Ypsilanti finished the first half on a 10-2 run to lead 26-21 at halftime. The Lakers led 19-16 on Robbins’ three-point play with 5:27 remaining in the half.

“To fight back from that, I was proud of the girls,” Jason Bradford said. “Before we had Gracie foul out and Ruby foul out, just that one minute swing, we put five points up on the board. If we would have had a little bit more time and not foul trouble, we could have clawed our way back out of it.”

Both Grace Bradford and Hogan fouled out in the last two minutes. Robbins didn’t return after her injury, and Moeggenberg — who played for four years at Michigan State — carried her off the court after the game.

Until Petticord’s 3-pointer with 2:56 left in the opening half, neither team led by more than four — an early 4-0 Glen Lake advantage as Grace Bradford scored all four.

“They’ve got some length,” Stine said of Glen Lake. “I’ll give them some credit, but — to some degree — it was just our nerves. It’s been five years since we’ve been back in the Breslin, so for all these young ladies, it’s the first time here.”

Ypsilanti Arbor Prep faces No. 2-ranked Kent City (26-0) in Saturday’s 4 p.m. state final.

The Lakers lose five players to graduation — Grace Bradford, Robbins, Scott, Betti Beck and Skyler Bufalini, who had two points and two rebounds off the bench. Glen Lake returns three starters in Maddie Bradford, Hogan and Lerchen.

Follow @Jamescook14 on Twitter.

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