The Lakota East Boys played two different halves of basketball on Wednesday night at their opening sectional contest against Kings HS. The Thunderhawks held the Knights to three points in the second quarter to grab a 21-9 halftime bulge, but it was a different-looking Kings team that came out in the second half.
The Knights rode a big third period to cut the gap to 25-24 before Jackson See beat the buzzer with a long 3 to put East up 28-24 going to the fourth. The Knights closed to within two multiple times in the fourth quarter, but the Hawks Jarrett Cox and his teammates had an answer every time.
With less than two minutes to play, the East junior standout first came up a with a huge steal before draining a long 3-pointer at the other end to put East up 37-32. The Thunderhawks then put it away at the free-throw line in a 43-41 Division I sectional semifinal victory at Lakota West.
Cox led all scorers with 22 points, including four 3s. Evan Kuhlman had 12 points and eight rebounds for East, which improved to 16-7. The sixth-seeded Thunderhawks hit 14 of 40 from the field, but only 5 of 21 in the second half.
East will return to West on Saturday for a 7 p.m. sectional final against Greater Miami Conference rival Mason (19-2). The fourth-seeded Comets beat No. 16 St. Xavier 59-49 in Wednesday’s second game at West. Mason defeated the Thunderhawks 48-34 on Jan. 3 and 59-44 on Feb. 7. The winner will advance to the District Championship contest on Saturday, March 11th at UD Arena vs. either Wayne or Centerville.
SECTIONAL PRESALE TICKET INFO
Tickets for the Boys Basketball Sectional Final Game on Saturday versus Mason are on sale in the athletic department all day today and tomorrow. The game will be played at Lakota West at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday Night. Presale Tickets are $6 and half of the money is returned to Lakota East! Please come out and support the Hawks!