The Thunderhawks traveled across town last Friday, to Mason and came away with a win and undisputed lead in the GMC. The Hawks shot well and played tenacious defense to upend the Comets 61-44.
East led the entire way taking a 21-15 advantage into the locker room at the half, then built the lead further in the third quarter.
Senior Will Johnston followed his 27-point performance last Tuesday, with another strong outing, leading all scorers with 21-points. Bash Wieland poured in 18.
With the win, East sits in the driver’s seat in the conference with a lot of season yet to play out.
Lakota East met the states #1 ranked team, Moeller, in the first annual King Classic at Middletown HS last Sunday night. The Hawks hoped to play the role of spoiler, entering the game on the heels of climbing to the top of the Greater Miami Conference just two days prior. But it was Moeller who held court, battling back from a five-point halftime deficit to defeat Lakota East 61-53.
It was a struggle of conflicting strategies, particularly with tempo. Moeller (13-0) sought to ramp up the speed and generate transition opportunities with pressure and trapping, while Lakota East (10-4) eyed patience and a plodding half-court offense to manufacture clean looks.
Lakota East shot a blistering 68.8 percent from the floor in the opening half, powered by 11 points each from senior Bash Wieland and junior Kaden Fuhrmann, who did not miss a shot from the field.
But in the second half, Moeller ramped up the pressure and intensity, picking up Lakota East full court on nearly every possession. At the beginning of the fourth quarter they flipped to a 1-3-1 trapping zone, and the Crusaders’ controlled confusion paid quick dividends.
East struggled with some foul issues with Grant Spicer further complicating an already difficult post matchup playing without center Alex Mangold. The Crusaders were able to take advantage of the inside mix match helping them to keep their record untarnished.
Lakota East showcased their own impressive performance in the 22-point showing for Wieland. The senior wing led the Thunderhawks in scoring and was a big reason Lakota East hung in the game the way they did.
Lakota East will look to maintain their GMC supremacy as they host Princeton, also Jan. 25.