Lakota West earned its 10th win of the season when it defeated Oak Hills by the score of 69-41 on the road Tuesday. Last year, the Firebirds finished with a 9-13 overall record.
The 28-point margin made for the Firebirds’ most dominating win of the 2011-2012 season. Leading Lakota West to the win was junior Monty Boykins, who finished with 18 points and 5 rebounds.
Lakota West sophomore Tyler Williams (photo from earlier game this season) added 10 points and 5 assists.
Another bright spot for the Firebirds was the return of forward Kayaune Ross, who had not played due to injury since Jan. 7. In his return, Ross scored 5 points and pulled down 4 rebounds.
Meanwhile, junior Jake Richmond and senior Alex Bergen each scored in double figures for Oak Hills. Richmond finished with 11 points, while Bergen totaled 12.
The Firebirds will be searching for their third straight win when they visit rival Mason (14-2 overall, 8-2 in the Greater Miami Conference) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Oak Hills will also be in action Friday at 7:30 p.m. when it visits Princeton (12-3 overall, 7-3 in the GMC).
In previous meetings, Lakota West lost to Mason (70-60) at home Jan. 6 and Oak Hills upset Princeton (60-55) on its home court the same night.
Lakota West 69, Oak Hills 41
Lakota West (10-6 overall, 7-3 in the GMC) – Bowling 1 0 2, Hicks 1 0 2, Ross 3 1 7, Blue 3 0 7, Thomas 1 1 3, Barnes 3 1 8, Williams 3 2 10, Manin 2 0 4, Boykins 7 1 18, Grove 2 4 8. Totals: 26 10 69.
For the second straight Friday, Lakota West won a close game against a Greater Miami Conference opponent. This time, the Firebirds blew a 12-point lead in the second half only to go onto a 77-71 overtime win against Colerain.
Last Friday, Lakota West handed Middletown its first conference loss of the season when it won by the score of 56-53.
In the overtime win against Colerain, junior Monty Boykins recorded a season high 26 points and pulled down a career high 15 rebounds for Lakota West. Teammates, sophomore Tyler Williams added 14 points and junior Ali Barnes finished with 20 points.
Senior Elisha Campbell led Colerain with 21 points. His teammates, juniors C.J. Reed and Milton Davis each scored 15 points in the loss.
In its next game, Lakota West will visit Oak Hills (7-7 overall, 5-4 in the Greater Miami Conference) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Colerain will also be in action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when it hosts Mason (13-2 overall, 7-2 in the GMC).
With one of its top scorers stuck on the bench, Fairfield led by senior Keon Benjamin defeated Lakota West by the score of 70-59 in a battle of Greater Miami Conference second place teams Tuesday.
Benjamin knocked down four 3-pointers and scored a career high 24 points, while Fairfield’s second-leading scorer Brandon Murphy had to sit out after recording two technical fouls in the Indians’ 47-43 win against Oak Hills Friday.
“We say it all the time, ‘next guy in has to play,’” Fairfield head coach Tim Austing said. “It is part of the season, guys will go down with injuries or get in foul trouble. You just have to move on.”
“Keon creates a difficult matchup because it makes them cover a 3-point shooter with a center. It only works if you can really shoot it and Keon can really shoot it.”
The Firebirds, who were coming off a 56-53 upset win against Middletown Friday, led the game 20-16 at the end of the first quarter. Junior shooting guard Ali Barnes was perfect in the quarter, going 3-for-3 from the floor and was 1-for-1 at the free-throw line.
Benjamin, however, would knock down a 3-pointer during a 9-0 Fairfield scoring run to begin the second frame. After a pair of free throws by Benjamin, Fairfield increased its lead to 11 points with 2:03 left in the third quarter.
Lakota West quickly cut the lead to three after going on an 8-0 run of its own, capped off by an old fashioned 3-point play by Barnes.
The comeback attempt was eventually spoiled when Benjamin made his fourth 3-pointer of the game, giving Fairfield a 54-47 with 3:55 left in the game.
“I was just dialed in,” Benjamin said. “We have a little rivalry with them – they don’t like us, we don’t like them. That is what really gave me my motivation.”
Along with Benjamin, Fairfield was able to hang onto the victory thanks to making 28 of its 34 free throws. Combining to make 17 of those shots from the foul stripe, senior guards Kyle Smith and Jeff Woods finished with 16 and 19 points, respectively.
“That had to be our best free-throw shooting performance all season,” Benjamin said. “We have just been focusing in practice, shooting many more free throws than we normally have. Especially this week because we knew we were going to get fouled.”
Meanwhile, Lakota West had three players score in double figures including junior Monty Boykins (18 points), sophomore Tyler Williams (14 points) and Barnes (13 points).
Another bright spot for the Firebirds was the play of sophomore Tyler Bowling. The 6-foot-7 center started his first game of the season and scored 8 points before fouling out in 13 minutes of playing time.
“To sum it up, the better team won the game” Lakota West head coach Sean Van Winkle said. “It is as simple as that. The team that played good team defense won the game. Hopefully, we can get to that point before the season is out.”
Fairfield 70, Lakota West 59
Fairfield (12-2, 6-2 in the GMC): Turner 2 3 7, Barlow 0 2 2, Fleming 1 0 2, Smith 5 4 16, Woods 3 13 19, Benjamin 7 6 24. Totals 18 28 70.
Lakota West (8-6, 5-3 in the GMC): Bowling 4 0 8, Martin 1 0 2, Blue 2 0 4, Barnes 5 1 13, Williams 5 2 14, Boykins 6 3 18. Totals 23 6 59.
Halftime score: 32-27 Fairfield. 3-pointers: F 6 (Smith 2, Benjamin 4); LW 7 (Barnes 2, Williams 2, Boykins 3)
Junior Monty Boykins scored a season high 24 points and made a pair of key free throws in the final seconds as Lakota West defeated Middletown by the score of 56-53 Friday. The loss was the Middies first against a Greater Miami Conference opponent this season.
After Boykins converted two free throw attempts with 18 seconds remaining, Middletown was able to get off a three-point shot before the buzzer. The attempt resulted in an air ball.
Sophomore point guard Tyler Williams (13 points) and junior Ali Barnes (10 points) also scored in double figures for Lakota West.
Senior Geovonie McKnight (19 points) and Vincent Edwards (16 points, 10 rebounds) led Middletown.
The loss creates a tie for first place in the GMC between Middletown and Mason (12-1 overall, 6-1 in the GMC). Lakota West is one game behind and tied with Fairfield (11-2 overall, 5-2 in the GMC).
The Firebirds are scheduled to host Fairfield at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Middletown will visit Lakota East (5-8 overall, 2-5 in the GMC) at the same time Tuesday.
Lakota West 56, Middletown 53
Lakota West (8-5, 5-2 in the GMC) – Blue 2 1 5, Barnes 4 1 10, Williams 3 6 13, Boykins 6 10 24, Bowling 1 0 2, Stalker 0 2 2. Totals 16 20 56.
Lakota West battled injuries and couldn’t finish off its comeback attempt against Princeton, falling by the score of 56-50 Friday.
The Firebirds had trailed Princeton 49-48 with 55 seconds to play. The Vikings, however, converted 5-of-6 free throws in the last minute to hold on to the win.
Senior De’Arius Young (6-foot-7, 280 pounds) led Princeton with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Lakota West senior Jackson Blue set a Lakota school district single game record with 8 blocks. According to WestFirebirds.com, the previous record was 7 set by Josh Chichester during the 2003-04 season.
The Firebirds also received strong performances by junior Monty Boykins (13 points, 11 rebounds), junior Ali Barnes (13 points) and sophomore Tyler Williams (11 points, 6 rebounds).
Due to injury, Lakota West took the court without senior forward Kayaune Ross. Furthermore, Barnes was injured during the game.
Next up for the Firebirds is a matchup against Dixie Heights (10-5 overall) in the Bluegrass-Buckeye Classic at the Bank of Kentucky Center (Northern Kentucky University) at 7:45 p.m. Saturday. Princeton, on the other hand, is not scheduled to play another game until next Friday when it will host Hamilton (3-8 overall, 1-5 in the GMC) at 7:30 p.m.
Princeton 56, Lakota West 50
Lakota West (7-4, 4-2 in the GMC) – Blue 1 2 5, Barnes 5 2 13, Stalker 1 0 2, Williams 3 4 11, Boykins 5 2 13, Thomas 0 2 2, Moo Young 1 0 2, Bengal 1 0 2.
Recently hired Ohio State football head coach Urban Meyer and former OSU head coach and now defensive coordinator Luke Fickell were on hand to watch a Lakota West basketball game Friday night.
Meyer and Fickell were in West Chester to see junior Kyle Meadows, who is a 6-foot-6 295-pound offensive tackle during the football season, play in a junior varsity basketball game. According Lakota West football head coach Larry Cox, Meadows has also received interest from Cincinnati, Bowling Green, Michigan, Louisville, Miami (Ohio), Alabama and Georgia.
Meanwhile, the Lakota West varsity basketball team fell to Greater Miami Conference rival Mason by the score of 70-60. It was the Firebirds first loss to a conference opponent this season.
Mason, on the other hand, improved its overall record to 9-1 and its record within the GMC to 4-1. 6-foot-5 seniors Michael Van Kleunen (26 points) and Darin Harris (22 points) combined to score 48 points to lead the Comets.
Sophomore point guard Tyler Williams (17 points) and junior small forward Monty Boykins (14 points) led Lakota West by combining to score 31 points in the loss. Like Meadows, Williams and Boykins have both received interest from multiple Division I schools. Boykins currently has offers to play basketball at Miami (Ohio), Toledo, James Madison, Eastern Michigan and Kennesaw State.
Lakota West is now 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the GMC this season. The Firebirds will be back in action Saturday when it visits Elder (1-7 overall, 0-3 in the Greater Catholic League). Mason will host La Salle (8-0 overall, 3-0 in the GCL) in its next scheduled game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The athletic departments at Lakota East and Lakota West high schools recently named their athletes of the week for the first time in the 2012. Junior Monty Boykins and senior Shabazz Reeves received the honor at Lakota West, while sophomore Shelby Hutton and junior Tyler Phillips were honored at Lakota East.
During the holiday break, Lakota West also honored sophomore point guard Tyler Williams, junior swimmer Savannah Rice, senior forward Kayaune Ross and sophomore swimmer Casey Frazier as athletes of the week.
Boykins scored a total of 58 points in the Republic Bank Holiday Classic in Lexington, Ky., last week. He led the Firebirds with 16 points in the team’s opening round win against Simon Kenton. On Tuesday, Boykins scored 15 points in Lakota West’s 60-46 win against Hamilton. The junior small forward has scored in double figures in each game (all 8 games) this season.
During Lakota West’s Holiday Hoops Fest, Reeves led all of her Firebird teammates with 21 points. On Wednesday, Reeves scored 10 points, had 2 assists and 3 steals off the bench in a 68-60 loss to Greater Miami Conference power Princeton. Reeves is also the leading scorer for Lakota West at 8.9 points per game. She has also already signed on to play at Morgan State University.
Hutton finished in first place in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard breaststroke during a swim meet that included Middletown and Lakota West Dec. 27. She was also on the 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay teams that finished in first place at the same event.
On the boys’ swimming side, during the same meet Dec. 27, Phillips finished first in the 100-yard backstroke and second in the 200-yard individual medley. He was also on the 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard freestyle relay teams that finished in first place.
Lakota West, which lost two of its three games at the Republic Bank Holiday Classic in Lexington (Ky.) last week, remained perfect against Greater Miami Conference opponents after defeating Hamilton on the road by the score of 60-46 Tuesday.
The win sets up a big game for the Firebirds (6-2 overall, 4-0 in the GMC) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, when they will host Mason (8-1 overall, 3-1 in the GMC).
In Tuesday’s win against Hamilton, juniors Ali Barnes and Monty Boykins each scored 15 points for the Firebirds. Senior forward Kayaune Ross and sophomore point guard Tyler Williams each added 8 points in the win.
Hamilton 6-foot-8 senior Torrell Sutton led all players with 18 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
After the upcoming Mason game, Lakota West will play at Elder (1-6 overall, 0-2 in the Greater Catholic League) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Lakota West 60, Hamilton 46
Lakota West (6-2, 4-0 in the GMC) – Ross 4 0 8, Blue 3 3 9, Barnes 6 1 15, Stalker 1 0 2, Williams 3 2 8, Boykins 6 2 15, Grove 1 0 3. Totals 24 8 60.
Hamilton (2-6, 0-4 in the GMC) – Boyd 2 1 5, Bailey 3 0 7, Jones 2 1 6, Sims 3 0 7, Oliver 1 1 3, Sutton 8 2 18. Totals 19 5 46.
Halftime: Lakota West 26-22. 3-pointers: L 4 (Barnes 2, Boykins, Grove); H 3 (Bailey, Sims, Jones).
The Lakota West boys’ basketball team is hoping to bounce back from its first losing season in school history with a group that head coach Sean Van Winkle describes as “young, but experienced.”
“We have a good team,” Van Winkle said. “We are not just going to depend on one single person to do the scoring or the rebounding or the passing. We have a bunch of guys that we feel are decent players and hopefully can carry the load.”
Van Winkle does return 6-foot-4 junior Monty Boykins, who led Lakota West in scoring last season with 12.5 points per game.
“As a team, I believe we are a lot further along than we were last year,” said Boykins, who has collegiate offers from Miami, Toledo, James Madison, Eastern Michigan and Kennesaw State. “We are playing really hard on defense. We are getting better at playing team defense and offense.
“I just want to end the season on a win. I honestly feel that we can make a deep run in the playoffs.”
Besides Boykins, Lakota West returns starting guards junior Ali Barnes and sophomore Tyler Williams, as well as starting forward senior Jackson Blue.
Williams, who like Boykins has earned the attention of the college scouts, averaged 7.1 points per game last season.
“Tyler is very confident this year,” Van Winkle said. “He is one of the best overall guards in the city at his age. He can do a lot of things with the ball and play great defense … we are looking for him to have a really good year.”
Backing up Barnes, who averaged 8.4 points per game, and Williams will be newcomer sophomore Malik Grove.
Grove, who has impressed his coach and his new teammates on the basketball court, actually quit the bowling team this winter after being named the Greater Miami Conference Athlete of Year and rolling a perfect game in the sport as a freshman.
“Malik Grove has been a real surprise. Quite honestly, he is just a heady player,” Van Winkle said.
“He just knows how to play, he understands the game and he is just deceivingly good.”
Other newcomers who are expected to make an impact this season include 6-foot-7 sophomore Tyler Bowling and 210-pound senior Cole Stalker, who sat out last season after transferring from Ross.
“Our team just has a lot of heart this year,” Boykins said. “We play so hard every possession and that is going to take us a long way especially when we have guys coming off the bench who can contribute.”
Lakota West will tip off its season at home against Oak Hills at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6.
Lakota West and Winton Woods participated in the Skyline Chili Crossdown Showdown at Nippert Stadium at the University of Cincinnati Saturday. The Firebirds couldn’t handle the Winton Woods rushing attack, which totaled 324 yards in a 27-21 win over Lakota West.
Winton Woods senior running back Aaron Kemper, who was co-athlete of the year in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference last season, finished the game with 139 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
Meanwhile, Lakota West head coach Larry Cox decided on Wednesday that he was going to start sophomore Tyler Jones at quarterback in the season opener. Jones, who was making his first varsity appearance, struggled at times, but also led the Firebirds on three touchdown-scoring drives.