Kevin Goheen reports:
Junior guard Tyler Williams scored 22 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:16 left in regulation, as Lakota West outlasted Anderson 73-65 Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the LaRosa’s Royal 8 Hardwood Classic.Junior Malik Grove added 19 points, including making all eight of his free throw attempts as Lakota West won its fourth game in a row to improve to 8-4.
Lakota West advances to face St. Xavier, ranked No. 3 in the Enquirer Division I coaches’ poll, in Sunday’s semifinal. The game will take place at 6 p.m. A win puts West in the championship game at 8 p.m. on Monday, and a loss would put West in the third-place game at 6 p.m. All games will be played at Fairfield.
Anderson (7-6) will face Elder in a consolation bracket game. The Redskins had four players in double figures, led by senior guard Charlie Carroll’s 21 points. Senior center Joe Cossins had 17 points, senior forward Bobby Murdock had 12 points and senior guard Dane Stevlingson had 11 points.
The game featured 12 ties and 11 lead changes. A basket by Murdock with 2:34 left tied the score, 60-60.
Williams’ third 3-pointer of the game gave Lakota West the lead for good.
He followed that up with a steal. He would miss the layup on the other end but Grove grabbed the rebound and was fouled on his put-back attempt. His two free throws gave the Firebirds a five-point lead. Anderson never got closer than three points the rest of the way.
“That’s when the game slows down and you have to be ready to make a play,” said Williams. “My teammates gave a good pass and I was able to hit the shot.”
Williams came into the game averaging 9.8 points. He had played in just five games because of an ankle injury suffered in the season-opener against Talawanda. He re-injured the ankle on the layup attempt. Lakota West lost senior guard Monty Boykins to a season-ending knee injury on Dec. 28.
“We’ve gotten past the loss of Monty,” said Lakota West coach Sean Van Winkle. “I was really proud of our guys because we had a season-high 18 assists (on 24 field goals). Our guys played good team ball.”
Anderson, which beat Glen Este 62-50 Friday night, led 34-32 at halftime and held a 42-36 lead with 5:06 left in the third quarter. Lakota West used an 11-2 run to erase that deficit and eventually take a 51-46 lead into the fourth quarter.
Anderson regained the lead 53-51 and held its last advantage at 56-55.
“If we make one or two more plays we win but they’re the ones who made those plays,” said Anderson coach Frank Brandy. “We did a lot of good things and this is something to build on.”
Both teams shot well from the free throw line; Lakota West made 20 of 23 attempts, while Anderson made 15 of 17.
Anderson (7-6) - Stevlingson 4 1 11, Rogers 1 02, Cossins 6 5 17, Carroll 6 7 21, Martina 1 0 2, Murdock 5 2 12. Totals 23 15 65
Lakota West (8-4) - Barnes 2 4 8, Bowling 3 3 9, Williams 7 5 22, Grove 5 8 19, Martin 4 0 8, Peterkin 1 0 3, Higginbotham 2 0 4. Totals 24 20 73.
Halftime: Anderson 34-32. 3-pointers: A – 4 (Carroll 2, Stevlingson 2), LW – 5 (Williams 3, Grove, Peterkin).