FRANKFORT — Glen Lake junior Finn Hogan had the perfect ending to the Lakers 9-point run to start the second half. Hogan leaped high for a dunk to put the Lakers up by double digits, only the ball bounced right off the rim.
His second try probably meant more.
Hogan’s dunk with under a minute to go put the Lakers up by 11 to seal off a 63-50 win at Frankfort, Tuesday evening.
With the win, Glen Lake is the only remaining undefeated team in the Northwest Conference after Frankfort entered the game with a 5-0 overall record. Glen Lake’s (7-1, 4-0 NWC) only loss is to Traverse City West in the Lakeshore Cup in Grand Haven on Dec. 28.
Hogan finished with 14 points behind a 24 point effort from senior Reece Hazelton. All but one of Hogan’s points came in the second half, scoring five points in the Lakers big run after the break.
“That’s just fun basketball,” Hogan said. “When you’re flying around and everyone’s finishing those big time shots and defensive stuff, that’s just fun. There’s no other words describe it. You’re just having a blast out there.”
Neither team would allow each other to make a basket in the opening minutes of the game until Glen Lake went on a 10-2 run over three minutes to end the first quarter with a 20-15 advantage.
The Panthers stormed back just as hard in the second quarter.
During a key stretch in the final four minutes of the first half, Frankfort sophomore Blake Miller hit a 3-pointer, then sophomore Adam Mills hit a layup. Frankfort took a timeout, then stopped Glen Lake from inbounding in their defensive zone twice. Frankfort scored four more, and entered the locker room on a 9-2 run to take a 30-25 lead.
The Lakers came out of the locker room with an even stronger run.
Glen Lake scored nine unanswered points. It prompted Hazelton to slap the hardwood just over two minutes into the quarter, leading to a stop on defense, and Glen Lake’s bench was fired up.
Frankfort retook the lead with 3:25 to go in the third quarter off a 3-point foul to send junior Jack Stefanski to the line. Stefanski netted each one of them, then senior Xander Stockdale connected on a triple to put to Panthers up by one.
The Lakers took what would be the last lead of the game a minute later, pulling away to start the fourth quarter on a breakaway steal taken all the way to the basket by Hazelton with 5:17 to go.
Frankfort came within four after a free throw by Stefanski with 2:46 to go, then got the ball back on a travel call and called a timeout.
“We were right where we wanted to be,” Frankfort coach Dan Loney said. “We drew up the perfect play, pick and roll with our two best players and got a pretty wide open look at the basket. It doesn’t roll our way.”
The Lakers grabbed the rebound after the Panthers took four shots at the basket, and Hazelton connected on an and-1 with 1:39 to go. Glen Lake pulled away with Hogan’s dunk, and held Frankfort scoreless over the final minute of the game.
Hogan and Hazelton each finished the game with four defensive rebounds while junior Jon Popp had three. Stefanski finished with 29 points for Frankfort (with 15 points off of free throws), and Miller was the only other Panther to net more than two baskets to score eight.
Frankfort is now 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the NWC.
“What I’ve learned coaching this conference past five years is on any given night, if you don’t show up, you can get beat,” Glen Lake coach Rich Ruelas said. “We were happy to win this one, we know this is a win that we had to have, and we got the job done.”
Glen Lake travels to Saginaw Valley State University to face Saginaw Heritage Monday at 3 p.m. and Frankfort travels to Kingsley Thursday at 7:30 p.m.