FAIRBORN — Wayne’s winning streak came to an end with a loss to Lakota East 60-57 in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division 1 district final on Saturday at the Wright State University Nutter Center.
Despite a 14 point lead in the second quarter and a 9 point lead at the half, Wayne could not hold off the sharp shooting Lakota East Thunderhawks in a game that went down to the wire. The Warriors, who won 33 consecutive games and compiled a 25-0 season record up to this point, saw their high hopes of a second consecutive state tournament appearance dashed with the disappointing loss. Three Warriors scored in double figures, Trey Landers and Chazz George had 15 points each and Demond Parker added 14 points to lead Wayne in the final game of the season.
“It’s really tough,” said Coach Travis Trice. “I don’t want to take anything away from Lakota East, they did a great job of executing plays we talked to our guys about being in position to not let calls or balls bouncing the wrong way be a part of the game, and we didn’t do that. We had an opportunity, we didn’t do what we were supposed to do at the beginning of the game which was pressure, get into a run and jump, we did that later in the first half and it worked great for us, we got up by 9 points. We just came out for whatever reason extremely flat, more on the defensive end to start the third quarter. To their credit they hit shots tonight, they waited for us to make a mistake, we talked about closing out every single time above the 3-point line, they got a lot of good free looks to the basket, and again to their credit they knocked them down.”
“It’s hard and it’s very tough,” added Coach Trice. “There is a group of great kids in our locker room just like there are around the state; I feel a lot of pain for them.”
Wayne took a 4-2 lead on a steal and fast break dunk by Landers early in the first quarter. Lakota answered with a 3-pointer by Ryan Middendorf to put Lakota East back in charge 5-4. Both teams exchanged baskets as Demond Parker connected on a 3-pointer at the 3:20 mark to put the Warriors out in front 9-8. Lakota East came right back with another 3-pointer from Middendorf and two free throws by Andrew Emrick to go in front 13-9 with 2:00 remaining. Wayne came back in the final minutes as Landers got an offensive rebound and drew the foul for a three point play to take the lead 14-13 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter Wayne turned up the defensive intensity sparking a 13-0 run that lifted the Warriors to a 14 point lead at the 4:22 mark. Lakota East cut the lead to ten points, but Demond
Parker hit a 3-pointer to keep the lead intact. Lakota East made four consecutive free throws to cut the lead to 9 points as Wayne held to a 34-25 halftime advantage.
Lakota East started the third quarter red hot hitting two consecutive 3-pointers to cut the lead to a slim three points 34-31. But Landers hit a free throw and Demond Parker connected on a stop and pop to push the lead back to 6 points. A 3-pointer by George gave the Warriors a 40-36 lead at the 2:19 mark. Lakota East came back with a bucket to cut the lead to 40-38 at the end of the third quarter.
Lakota East took the lead in the fourth quarter on a free throw, but Isaiah Trice got a layup to put Wayne back in charge 42-41. Lakota East came back with two consecutive baskets to take the lead 45-42 at the 5:45 mark. The game remained tight down to the 1:06 mark as Lakota East took the lead 54-53. Lakota East got two free throws to extend the lead to 56-53 with under a minute to go. Trey Landers drove to the hoop for a basket to cut the lead to 56-55 with 20 seconds remaining. Lakota East went to the line again as Middendorf hit both free throws to extend the lead to 58-55 with 16 seconds left. Smith scored on a layup for Wayne with just a few seconds remaining to cut the lead to 58-57. On the in-bounds pass Wayne was called for the foul that put Lakota East at the line for the last time to seal the victory and give the Warriors their first loss of the season. Leading scorers for Lakota East were Emrick with 21 points, Middendorf had 17 points and Kuhlman added 11 points.
WAY 14 34 40 57 – 57
LAK 13 25 38 60 – 60
Wayne: L’Christian Smith 8, Trey Landers 15, Chazz George 15, Roderick Caldwell 2, Demond Parker 14, Chandler Fointno 1, Isaiah Trice 2. Totals: 22-10-57.
Lakota East: Evan Kuhlman 11, Andrew Emrick 21, Mark Isom 2, Jon Fox 2, Ryan Middendorf 17, Jarett Cox 7. Totals: 19-16-60.
3-point goals: Wayne 3 (Demond Parker 2, George); Lakota East 6 (Middendorf 3, Kuhlman 2, Emrick).
Records: Wayne (25-1), Lakota East (18-7)
Trey Landers goes in for a layup against Lakota East.
Demond Parker dribbles up the floor as Lakota East defender Jalen Peck reaches in.
Chazz George goes in for a layup trailed by Lakota East’s Ryan Middendorf.
Trey Landers gets heavy defensive pressure from Lakota East players Jalen Peck and Andrew Emrick (11).
L’Christian Smith puts up a jump shot as Ryan Middendorf tries to draw a player control foul.
Reach Steve Granata via email at: email@example.com
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