By Mark Schmetzer, Enquirer contributor
The Mason Comets went into Tuesday night’s Greater Miami Conference opener against Lakota East leading the “others” receiving votes in the Enquirer’s Division I coaches’ poll, two votes behind No. 10 Withrow.
If Mason keeps playing as well as it did against the No. 3 Thunderhawks, it soon will have a number to the left of its name.
Senior Adam Thomas scored 13 points and junior Cameron Arminio tied his career high with 12, according to the Greater Miami Conference website, as the Comets built an 18-point lead and fended off a Lakota East comeback for a 60-51 win at Mason.
“We haven’t gotten a lot of hype,” Thomas said. “I think we were picked to finish like eighth in our league. Our goal is to make a statement every night.”
“We have a lot of guys in their first year on varsity, and they’re trying to make a statement,” said Mason coach Greg Richards, who logged his 250th career win.
Junior guard Mitchell Mays led three Thunderhawks in double figures with 20 points, but they couldn’t overcome Mason’s 32-21 rebounding advantage.
“There’s a little more to it than that, but you could see we had opportunities in the second half to get close, but we couldn’t get the rebound,” Lakota East coach Wally Vickers said. “It’s a concern. It has been an issue. It’s something we work on in practice, but sometime, players question the validity of what you’re saying until you have a game like this.”
Mason led 14-6 with 1:02 left in the first quarter.