Lakota East Boys Bball came roaring out of the gate on Tuesday night in their 2nd meeting of the season against Oak Hills. The usually always tough Highlander defense didn’t know what hit them as the Hawks went on 15-0 run in the first quarter, effectively putting OH in a hole that they would not be able to climb out. East endured a third-quarter come-back effort and put the game away in the fourth quarter, going on to win 48-34.

The win left the Thunderhawks with a two-game lead in the conference and one to play – at Lakota West on Friday.

East becomes the first Lakota District Boys Bball team to win back-to-back outright GMC titles. It was the program’s 5th overall title and third in the past six seasons under head coach Clint Adkins.

The Thunderhawks withstood a 7-minute, 42-second scoring drought to lead by as many as 19 points against an Oak Hills (15-6, 12-3) team that was the last to beat them, 53-46 on January 7 at Oak Hills. Despite the slump, Lakota East shot a sizzling 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from the field in the second half and 56.7 percent (17-of-30) for the game.

Junior standout, Nate Johnson, returned to form with some outstanding plays leading East and both teams with 12 points. Johnson, who missed Lakota East’s win at Princeton on Friday with strep throat, came off the bench to score six points in the first quarter, including a jumper at the buzzer to give the Thunderhawks a 17-2 lead. He also escalated the fervor in the gym by stripping a Highlander of the ball near midcourt and flying in for a ferocious dunk.

Senior Kaden Fuhrmann and sophomore Jaden Coles both made major contributions, along with senior Alex Mangold. Trevor Howard was 3-3 from the field with two treys that help East keep OH at bay.

The Hawks (19-2, 14-1) go on the road to district rival Lakota West on Friday for their regular-season finale. East defeated West earlier in the season, 62-42. Another sold-out crowd is expected and fans are urged to arrive early. 

At Sunday’s Division 1 tourney draw, East earned the #2 seed in the upcoming Sectional They will play a first-round game against Kings on Saturday, Feb. 22nd at Lakota West at 5:00 PM.