GMC showdown not as close as expected
Jeff Wallner reports:
Friday night’s Greater Miami Conference showdown between the top two teams in the league instead was a showcase for Lakota East, as the Thunderhawks held on to sole possession of first place in convincing fashion.
Senior guard Stedman Lowry scored 24 points, including four 3-pointers as Lakota East, ranked No. 2 in the Enquirer Division I coaches’ poll, rolled to a 62-44 win over No. 6 Fairfield in a jam-packed gym at Lakota East.
“I was feeling it there for a while,” Lowry said. “My teammates did a great job getting me in position to get open shots. This was definitely a big win. Hopefully we can keep it up.”
Alex White scored 13 points and Myo Baxter added 12 for Lakota East, which improved to 11-1, 5-0 in the GMC.
Tim Fleming led Fairfield with 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and T.C. Wells scored 10.
“We were able to push it in transition, and we shared the ball well,” said Lakota East head coach Wally Vickers.
“I’m pleased with the way we played overall. They missed some easy shots early. Could’ve been a different game.”
Fairfield (7-2, 4-2 GMC) reached the D-I state semifinals last year. But the Indians, who missed their first 11 shots on Friday night, couldn’t forge a rally against the Thunderhawks.
“Anytime you get beat like this you have to own it,” said Fairfield head coach Tim Austing.
“We got outplayed and outcoached. We didn’t shoot well. But give them credit.”
Taking advantage of Fairfield’s cold shooting, Lakota East raced out to an 8-0 lead. Baxter’s jumper in the lane put the Thunderhawks ahead 12-1, prompting an Indians timeout with 3:41 remaining in the first quarter.
Stedman Lowry’s 3-pointer gave the Thunderhawks a 14-point lead.
Fairfield’s first field goal didn’t come until Herman Brunis’ jumper with 11 seconds left in the first quarter. Lakota East, meanwhile, was 8-for-11 shooting for 72.7 percent in the quarter.
Dylan Lowry’s 3-pointer gave the Thunderhawks a 24-3 lead early in the second quarter.
Fairfield clawed its way back into the game with an 8-0 run. But Stedman Lowry hit his second 3-pointer to make the score 31-13.
“I told them we’ll make shots, but we needed to play better defense,” Austing said.
Fairfield was 7-for-27 from the field in the first half.
Stedman Lowry sealed the victory with 12 points in the third quarter, including two 3-pointers.
His driving layup late in the quarter made the score 46-26.
A 3-pointer by Fleming cut Fairfield’s deficit to 15 points heading into the fourth quarter. But the Indians wouldn’t get closer.
Fairfield (7-2, 4-2 GMC) – Brunis 4 1 9, Fleming 4 2 12, Wells 5 0 10, Horn 0 1 1, Long 3 0 6, Johnson 1 0 2, Harris 1 0 2, Vinson 1 0 2. Totals: 19 4 44.
Lakota East (11-1, 5-0 GMC) – Harpring 1 0 2, S. Lowry 10 0 24, Baxter 6 0 12, White 6 1 13, D. Lowry 4 0 9, Norris 0 2 2. Totals: 27 3 62.
Halftime: Lakota East 31, Fairfield 16: 3-pointers: F 2 (Fleming), L 5 (S. Lowry 4, D. Lowry).