Sykes, a former Xavier University player from 1991-95, said he is looking forward to having fun as he takes over the program he’s very familiar with.
“Continue the tradition that has been set,” Sykes said. “Helping the players improve on all aspects with their game on and off the court.”
Lakota East returns all 12 players from last season. There is one incoming senior. “They know me and I know them,” said Sykes.
Sykes, who lives in Kennedy Heights, went through two rounds of interviews for the position. He said he was confident during the process. He is looking forward to scheduling staff meetings and figuring out which two college camps the team will attned this summer.
Lakota East head coach Nikki Drew gives instructions to her team during their girls basketball game against Lakota West Jan. 9, 2013. Photo taken by Tony Tribble.
Nikki Drew steps down from coaching job at Lakota East – The only coach to ever lead a Lakota East girls’ basketball team to a winning season is stepping down, so she can spend more time with her 8-year-old daughter. Drew posted a 55-40 overall record at Lakota East. In other words, Drew led East to more wins in 4 seasons than East had been able to win its previous 12.
Cincinnati Tea Party elects Ann Becker as president – The Board of Directors of the Cincinnati Tea Party announced last Thursday that it has elected Ann Becker, who is currently the president of the West Chester Tea Party, as its new president. Becker, 36, of West Chester, succeeds George Brunemann, who has served as the Cincinnati Tea Party’s since 2011. Becker said that she will also remain president of the West Chester branch.
Suspect has recently spent 12K from stolen credit cards – Police are looking for a man, who is accused of stealing credit cards from two different Greater Cincinnati LA Fitness locations this month and then using them to buy gifts worth thousands of dollars. In both incidents, the victims had used combination padlocks on their gym lockers. Each time, the suspect was able to open the lock, go through the locker and re-lock it before being seen.
Lakota West junior running back Mikel Horton has received four Division I offers to play college football last week. The latest coming from Miami (Ohio) on March 1. Photo taken by Joseph Fuqua II.
Lakota West RB Mikel Horton has big week – Miami (Ohio) was the fourth Division I football program to offer Lakota West junior running back Mikel Horton last week. Louisville, Cincinnati and Purdue offered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. In addition, Horton has received interest from Penn State, Michigan State and Arkansas, as well as offers from Indiana, Minnesota, Kent State, Toledo, Bowling Green, Western Michigan and Kentucky.
O’Gara pays $10M for BAE armored vehicle division – The O’Gara Group Inc., a maker of armored vehicles and other security products, completed its purchase of BAE Systems’ Fairfield-based commercial armored vehicles division last Monday, the company announced. Fewer than 20 BAE employees were laid off prior to the $10 million sale, O’Gara Group CEO Bill O’Gara said; the remaining 110 employees will remain.
Liberty Township development takes on new look – A new plan for the Carriage Hill development will provide residents of all ages everything from an ice cream shop to hiking trails. The 400-acre project is located on the east side of Ohio 747, between Millikin and Princeton roads. It is also the site for this year’s Homearama custom home show, put on by the Homebuilder’s Association of Greater Cincinnati.
Lakota East and Lakota West fall in sectional finals – Lakota East came up just short, 57-56, against Withrow, while Walnut Hills defeated Lakota West, 60-46, in the sectional finals Friday night at the University of Cincinnati. Both losses ended the boys’ basketball seasons for each program.
Boehner tells Senate to get off their … – After making a famous comment about the Senate’s inactivity (watch video below) before the sequester took affect last week, House Speaker John Boehner didn’t resort to any foul language last Thursday when talking about his political opponents in the U.S. Senate. The West Chester Republican mostly avoided responding directly to reporters’ questions about the imminent across-the-board spending cuts.
Lakota East came up just short, 57-56, against Withrow, while Walnut Hills defeated Lakota West, 60-46, in the sectional finals Friday night at the University of Cincinnati.
Senior guard Corey Wise led all scorers with 21 points for Withrow. Senior Stedman Lowry and sophomore Alex White each scored 15 points for Lakota East. White also pulled down 15 rebounds.
The loss ends the Thunderhawks season. Overall, East finished 17-8 and 8-6 in the Greater Miami Conference. Lakota East began the season 10-0 and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the state. The Thunderhawks, however, finished the regular season going 5-7 and placed No. 8 in The Cincinnati Enquirer’s local coaches’ poll.
In the postseason, East had defeated Glen Este, 73-48, and Oak Hills, 57-37, before losing to Withrow.
The loss marks the end of the high school career of seniors Austin Emrick, Robbie Harpring, Stedman Lowry and Zach Panzeca.
Halftime: L 28-26. 3-pointers: W (Ibbott, Wise 3).
Meanwhile, Lakota West led Walnut HIlls briefly in the first quarter before falling behind 38-18 by halftime. Isaiah Johnson, who will play college basketball at Akron, had a game-high 25 points and 9 rebounds. Teammate Dontonio Wingfield, who is committed to Ohio, added 12 points and 7 rebounds.
Senior Ali Barnes led Lakota West with 17 points.
The loss ends the 2012-2013 season and the high school career of Zach Hicks, Ethan Thomas, Zach Moo Young and Monty Boykins.
The Firebirds finish 16-8 and 9-5 in the GMC, which was good enough for a four-way tie for first place in the conference this regular season. This postseason, Barnes had defeated Sycamore, 46-42, on Tuesday.
Lakota West (16-8) – Barnes 5 6 17, Bowling 1 0 2, Williams 4 0 9, Grove 1 0 2, Martin 3 0 6, Capossela 2 0 6, Thomas 1 2 4. Totals: 17 8 46
Walnut Hills (24-1) – Burton 2 2 7, Wingfield 6 0 12, Hill 1 1 3, Johnson 10 5 25, Gilmore 1 2 4, Brown 1 0 2, Irby 1 0 2, Williams 0 1 1, Jackson 2 0 4. Totals: 24 10 60
Halftime: Walnut Hills 38-18. 3-pointers: L 4 (Capossela 2, Barnes, Williams); W 2 (Burton, Hill)
The only coach to ever lead a Lakota East girls’ basketball team to a winning season is stepping down, so she can spend more time with her 8-year-old daughter.
Lakota East head coach Nikki Drew gives instructions to her team during their girls basketball game against Lakota West Jan. 9, 2013. Photo taken by Tony Tribble.
Drew, who played basketball at Xavier and professionally overseas, took over the Lakota East girls’ basketball program before the 2009-2010 season after serving as the head coach at Colerain for 6 seasons. At Colerain, Drew helped the program win its first-ever district title in 2005.
In her first season at East, the Thunderhawks finished 13-11 and 6-8 in the Greater Miami Conference. Prior to her arrival, the East program had never won more than 8 games in a season and was a combined 54-202 over the course of 12 seasons.
In her second season at the helm, Drew led East to a 19-6 overall record and a 10-4 mark within the GMC, which was good enough to be part of a 3-way tie for second place, in 2010-2011.
In 2011-2012, East was 13-8, 9-5 in the GMC and this past season the team finished 10-15, 7-7 in the GMC.
“This has been one of the hardest decisions I have had to make,” Drew said. “It is simply a sacrifice for my family at this time.
“Basketball has afforded me so many opportunities for which I am forever grateful. I will miss my girls and the relationships I have made over the years more than any statistical win. It has been a pleasure to coach at Lakota East and I will continue to teach Butler Tech’s Sports Medicine program here at Lakota East. I would like to thank all the Lakota East and Colerain families for the support over the years. They are and have been a blessing in my life.”
In her career at East, Drew posted a 55-40 overall record. In other words, Drew led East to more wins in 4 seasons than East had been able to win its previous 12.
“Nikki Drew is exceptional in every area of coaching – however she is an even better person,” Lakota athletic director Richard Bryant said. “The decision that she has made is selfless and speaks volumes about her character.”
Bryant alerted the media Thursday of the job opening of head girls’ basketball coach at Lakota East. He did not comment if East’s assistant coaches have applied for the position. Former Xavier standout Larry Sykes, who also had a brief stint in the NBA, served as the varsity assistant the past two seasons. He was briefly the girls’ basketball head coach at Purcell Marian.
All interested individuals should provide the application, letter of interest and resume electronically to athletic director Richard Bryant at Richard.Bryant@lakotaonline.com. The deadline to apply is March 22. The hiring process is expected to be completed by April 5.
Lakota East senior guard Stedman Lowry goes up for a dunk in East’s 20-point win against Oak Hills Feb. 26, 2013. The win advanced the Thunderhawks to the sectional finals, which be played Friday night at UC. Photo taken by Barb Trimble of TrimPhotoAndVideo.com. For more photos from this game, http://proofs.trimphotoandvideo.com/g/022613east_oh
Lakota postseason boys’ basketball double header – Lakota East (17-7) and Lakota West (16-7) will play in back-to-back sectional final games this Friday at the University of Cincinnati. East will play Withrow (19-4) at 7 p.m., while West will play Walnut Hills (23-1) at 8:30 p.m. A win by either team would mean a trip to the district finals at the University of Dayton next Saturday, March 9. If East wins, it will play the winner of the Northwest/Colerain matchup, which will be played Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at UC. And if West wins, it will play the winner of the Miamisburg/Centerville matchup, which will be played on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Wright State’s Nutter Center.
Lakota West spring musical – After debuting last weekend, the Lakota West Theatre’s spring musical, “All Shook Up,” returns this Friday and Saturday. Both shows will begin at 8 p.m. and will be performed at the Lakota West High School Theatre, 8940 Union Centre Boulevard.
J.S. Bailey book signing at Book Bums – The local author will discuss and sign her debut Christian suspense novel, “The Land Beyond the Portal” at Book Bums, 8992 Cincinnati-Dayton Road, in Olde West Chester. The free signing event will take place Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 513-847-1471.
Hound Hike at VOA Park – Man’s best friend is invited to come out to the first hound hike of the year at Voice of America Park on Sunday from 3 to 4 p.m. All dogs must have up-to-date tags, rabies shot, be on a 6-foot leash or less and follow all MetroPark rules and regulations about pets on trail.
Muhlhauser Barn open house – West Chester Township’s Muhlhauser Barn at Beckett Road is currently closed, but still can be toured at one of the several open houses offered on the first Sunday of each month this winter. Those interested in renting the restored, 1880s era, timber-frame barn for the 2013 season can get a tour this Sunday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.
It may been a line from the movie “Bad Boys” that saved Lakota West’s season.
With the game and the Firebirds’ season on the line, junior guard Malik Grove converted all 6 of his free-throw attempts in the final quarter en route to a 46-42 win against Sycamore in the Division I sectional semifinals at Hamilton High School Tuesday night.
“I just wanted to block everything out,” Grove said of his late-game foul shots.
“When there is a lot of pressure on you, you just say ‘woosaa.’”
Until now, Grove thought his dad, Jerry, had just made up the phrase, which is spelled w-o-o-s-a-a, according IMDB.com. He didn’t know that Jerry learned the phrase from Martin Lawrence’s character from “Bad Boys” and then taught it to Malik when he was about 6 or 7 years old. Oddly, over the years, the phrase has become a way of meditation for the family.
Woosaa, it worked.
If that phrase didn’t work for Grove then it had to be message his senior teammate Ali Barnes delivered at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Trailing by 8 points, 33-25, in what was a low-scoring affair, Barnes walked to the Lakota West bench and yelled at his teammates, “We are going to win this game!”
“I am a really motivated person and I get really emotional, especially since this could have been my last high school game,” said Barnes, who scored six of his 12 points in the 4th quarter.
“I said what I had to say and it obviously worked.”
Grove, who scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, admitted after the game that he was “pumped up” by Barnes’ message before the final quarter.
“You don’t want it to be the seniors’ last game,” Grove said.
For Sycamore, it was the last game for its seniors Nick Setser, Joey Gruden, Isaiah Brown and Mason Morgan. The 6-foot-6 Morgan, who signed to play tight end at Ohio University, led the Aves with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Gruden scored 9 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter.
“It was a huge game, a GMC game, one of those really physical games,” Gruden said. “It was a tough loss.”
In the regular season, Sycamore and Lakota West were part of a four-way tie (along with Fairfield and Middletown) for first place in the Greater Miami Conference. It was the first in the 47-year history of the conference that four boys’ basketball teams finished the regular season in a tie for the GMC title.
Lakota West (16-7) - Barnes 6 0 12, Bowling 2 1 5, Williams 1 2 4, Thomas 1 0 2, Moo Young 1 0 2, Grove 5 6 19. Totals 17 9 46.
Halftime: Sycamore 21-17. 3-pointers S 1 (Gruden); L 3 (Grove 3).
Lakota West will play Walnut Hills Friday in the sectional final at the University of Cincinnati at 8:30 p.m.
Walnut Hills 78, Woodward 43
Walnut Hills cruised to 78-43 win against Woodward in the Division I sectional semifinals at Hamilton High School Tuesday night.
Isaiah Johnson, who is committed to play college basketball at Akron, led the Eagles to a 40-13 lead at halftime. In the first half, the 6-foot-9 center scored 12 points and pulled down 5 rebounds. With the large lead, Johnson didn’t play in the second half.
Senior teammates Khari Burton and Dontonio Wingfield, who is committed to play at Ohio, combined for 17 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. Burton and Wingfield only played a few minutes each in the second half.
Walnut Hills (23-1) - Jones 2 0 4, Brown 0 1 1, Burton 4 0 9, Wingfield 4 0 8, Myaka 4 0 9, Irby 1 0 3, Austin 1 0 2, Banks 1 0 2, Williams 2 2 8, Johnson 6 0 12, Jackson 1 1 3, Carter 1 5 7, Akanbi 2 1 5, Gilmore 1 3 5. Totals 30 13 78.
Woodward (5-16) - Watkins 2 0 4, Williams 1 0 2, A. Mincey 2 3 8, Connell 1 0 2, Harrington 3 2 10, R. Mincey 2 0 4, Vines 1 0 2, Johnson 3 1 7, Carter 1 2 4. Totals 16 8 43.
After stringing together 10 consecutive wins to open the 2012-2013 season, the Lakota East Thunderhawks stumbled through a 5-7 second half.
They are starting to look more like that first-half team, and they couldn’t have picked a better time to do so.
Senior guard Stedman Lowry scored 19 points and his younger brother, sophomore guard Dylan Lowry, set a career-high with 15 while going 7 of 7 from the field as red-hot Lakota East rolled to a 57-37 win over Greater Miami Conference-rival Oak Hills in a Division I sectional semifinal Tuesday at Lakota West.
The win was Lakota East’s third in four games since back-to-back GMC losses at Colerain and Sycamore.
“We feel like we’ve been playing well the last three weeks,” Thunderhawks coach Wally Vickers said. “We had a bad loss at Fairfield (77-58 on Feb. 15), but they’re a really good team.”
“We’re getting better at the defensive end, and offensively, we’re moving the ball better inside out,” Stedman Lowry said. “It feels like the beginning of the year.”
The fifth-seeded Thunderhawks (17-7) shot a sizzling 69.7 percent from the field (23-of-33) while advancing to a sectional championship matchup with third-seeded Withrow Friday at 7 p.m. at the University of Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Arena.
Oak Hills senior guard Jake Richmond scored a team-high 17 before fouling out with 6:28 left in the game.
Highlanders coach Mike Price was surprised that Lakota East, the No. 8 team in the Enquirer’s Division I coaches’ poll, handled his 19th-seeded team so easily.
“We came out a little tentative,” Price said. “They did a little bit of everything. They dominated us. We didn’t expect that.”
Oak Hills (8-15) was streaky all season, opening 0-6 before winning five, losing five and winning three before losing the last four.
Stedman Lowry scored nine points and Lakota East led by as many as 18, 32-14, in the second quarter before taking a 32-15 lead into halftime.
Lakota East (17-7) – Harpring 2 3 7, S. Lowry 7 5 19, Buckenmyer 1 0 2, D. Lowry 7 0 15, Panzeca 0 1 1, Baxter 4 1 9, White 2 0 4. Totals: 23 10 57.
Halftime: Lakota East, 32-15. 3-pointers: L 1 (D. Lowry), O 6 (Richmond 3, Walters 2, Laumann).
Withrow 64, Mason 40, Division I sectional at Lakota West: Senior guard scored Tim Coleman scored a game-high 20 points, including 10 on 12 free throws, and junior Isiah Thompson added 13 to lead the Tigers (19-4), the No. 4 team in the Enquirer’s Division I coaches’ poll.
Senior guard Kacey Richards scored 10 points to lead 17th-seeded Mason (10-13), which has been eliminated from the tournament by Withrow each of the last three seasons.
Lakota West senior guard Monty Boykins committed to play college basketball at Lafayette during his official visit this weekend, according to Lakota West head basketball coach Sean Van Winkle.
Monty Boykins against Middletown Dec. 8, 2012. Boykins led Lakota West in scoring until he tore his ACL in a game in late December this season. Photo taken by Tony Tribble.
Boykins was leading his team in scoring this season until he tore his ACL at the end of the Fairfield game Dec. 28, which was the Firebirds’ seventh game of the 2012-2013 regular season. Including that game, Boykins had been averaging 17.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
The 6-foot-4 guard also had offers Duquesne, Miami (Ohio), Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Kennesaw State, James Madison, Bowling Green, Kent State, Eastern Kentucky and Robert Morris.
Since going down with the season-ending injury, his teammates have played inspired basketball – going 11-4 in the final 15 games of the regular season.
On Tuesday, West (15-7, 9-5 in the Greater Miami Conference) will play Sycamore (13-10, 9-5 in GMC) in the district quarterfinals at Hamilton High School at 6 p.m. WestChesterBuzz.com will provide a game story.
After defeating McAuley by 20 points just two weeks ago, Lakota West was eliminated from postseason play when it lost to the Mohawks by the score of 58-57 in overtime of a district semifinal game on Friday night at Harrison High School.
In the loss, the Firebirds made only 26.9 percent of their field goal attempts. McAuley, on the other hand, converted 41.1 of its percent its field goal tries.
Sophomore Lauren Cannatelli led Lakota West with 17 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime. Freshman Nia Staples added 15 points in the loss.
Lakota West officially finishes the 2012-2013 season with a 20-4 record. There are two seniors on the team, Emily Niehaus and Rachel Tomasic.
Lakota West (20-4) - Staples 5 3 15, Wells 1 0 2, Cannatelli 5 3 17, Carter 0 1 1, Tomasic 1 2 4, Whitaker 3 0 6, Aull 1 5 7, Wasan 2 1 5. Totals: 18 15 57.
McAuley (15-9) - Bove 7 0 15, Lambert 4 0 11, Vogelpohl 2 0 4, Egbers 3 4 11, Pifher 2 0 4, McFelea 4 0 10, Meunch 1 0 2. Totals: 23 5 58.
Halftime: McAuley 30-23. 3-pointers: L 6 (Cannatelli 4, Staples 2); M 7 (Lambert 3, McFelea 2, Bove, Egbers).
Lakota East boys’ basketball team advances – The Thunderhawks defeated Glen Este by the score of 73-48 in their postseason opener on Friday night at Lakota West High School. Sophomore center Alex White led Lakota East with 16 points. East will now play Oak Hills (8-14) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Lakota West. The Thunderhawks defeated Oak Hills, 49-36, in their only regular-season meeting this season on Dec. 18.