The Lakota East boys basketball program achieved the programs third sectional title last Friday with a very solid but tough win to move on in the post season. Its was a GCL vs. GMC classic as East outlasted Lasalle 60-54 at Hamilton HS. The Hawks last sectional championship happened in the 2015-16 season when they went all the way to the Regional semi-final. The Hawks other sectional title came in 2011.
The Thunderhawks were behind only twice (2-0 and 4-2) against La Salle, the No. 9 seed. The Lancers trailed 37-35 at the third stop, but watched East gain some separation with an 11-point run to start the fourth quarter. The Thunderhawks kept making free throws down the stretch as the Lancers were forced to foul. The Hawks were 14 of 16 from the line in the fourth period, 21 of 24 overall.
Jarrett Cox was perfect from the line on his eight attempts. The Lakota East High School senior standout battered La Salle with 26 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Cox, the Greater Miami Conference’s leading scorer the last two seasons and a Fairmont State University commit drew within 1 point Friday night of joining the elit 1000-point club. In his three season as a varsity player, Cox has put together a marvelous high school career and worked as hard as any player in East’s 20-year basketball history.
Cox was 8 of 16 from the floor and sank 2 of 3 shots from beyond the arc. He sat out more than five minutes in the second quarter after picking up his second foul, yet East still led 24-23 at the break.
Bash Wieland and Alex Mangold combined for 12 points in the final period. Jalen Peck had 4 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals.
“I’m proud of the preparation by our guys getting ready for our tournament games,” said Head coach Clint Adkins. “Our scout team was tremendous to help get these guys prepared to compete tonight. It truly was a win 1 through 15.
“I love this team and I’ve said that from Day 1, even when we were 4-5. I love the camaraderie. I love how they compete in practice. They have been an absolute pleasure to coach this year. I know they’ll prepare like champions to get ready for Princeton.”
East will meet GMC rival Princeton, a two-time winner over the Thunderhawks this season, for a district crown at 1 p.m. next Saturday at the University of Dayton Arena.