The Big Blue boy’s basketball team was able hold off the Lakota West Firebirds Friday night. Hamilton defeated West 44-41 to improve to 8-7 overall and 6-4 in the Greater Miami Conference. The last time the two teams met, West came out on top, winning by one point.
Hamilton got on the board first when senior guard Tyrique James sank a three pointer. West was able to capitalize on a Hamilton turnover, bringing the score to 2 all. After a back and forth battle for most of the quarter, the Big Blue had the lead at the end of the period, 13-11.
Precise shooting paired with strong a defense lead the Firebirds to dominate the second quarter. West held Hamilton to only six points, and scoring 14 of their own. Going into halftime, West was ahead, 25-19.
Head coach Sean Van Winkle said: “West plays really good defense and they did a really good job of slowing us down early and making us really work on our offense. We struggled, credit to their defense.”
Hamilton bounced back in the third, holding West to only three points the entire quarter. Sophomore guard D’Marco Howard started the momentum for the Big Blue, scoring off a quick pull up jumper. Senior forward Hunter Hamilton continued the run for Hamilton by stealing the ball away on the next play. Hamilton quickly passed to sophomore guard Jaylen Robinson, who then fed the ball down low to James. With 4:29 left in the third, Hamilton was still down by five.
With 3:18 remaining in the third quarter, senior forward Myles Howard stole the ball away. As action moved down the court, Robinson and West’s freshman guard Jared McCorkle scuffled, earning both players a technical foul. M. Howard took Hamilton’s shots, making both and bringing the Big Blue within three of the Firebirds. West was still unable to score after over six minutes of play. After M. Howard tipped in a missed shot and West’s three point attempt was no good, sophomore guard Daniel Brunck sunk a three pointer of his own to give Hamilton a 30-28 lead.
West and Hamilton continued to battle in the fourth quarter, but Hamilton was ultimately able to walk away with the 44-41 win.
Van Winkle said: “[I’m] really proud of my guys for digging in [during] the second half, attacking the basket and getting some shots. At this stage in the game any GMC win on a Friday night we’ll take…but we didn’t play particularly well.”
James lead his team with 14 points and one assist. D. Howard finished with eight points and four assists.
The Big Blue return to action Tuesday night at 7:30 as they host Colerain High School.