CINCINNATI – The Greater Miami Conference girls’ basketball showdown this past weekend lived up to every bit of hype it received.
Lakota West rallied to defeat Mason 64-61 inside the Mason Middle School Arena Saturday afternoon.
“This is a heavyweight battle,” Lakota West coach Andy Fishman said afterward. “It’s 15 rounds.”
The fight through adversity is well worth it.
The season can be a marathon for any high school team going through the standard 22 regular-season games. But then there are special games like Saturday.
We’ll see if both teams play each other again in the regional tournament. There is certainly a good chance.
Let’s take a closer look at this week’s Power 9:
1. Lakota West
Last week’s ranking: 2
This week’s schedule: Versus Princeton Wednesday. At Colerain Saturday.
The Firebirds have won three consecutive games including a tough road win at Mason. Still, don’t expect coach Andy Fishman to let his team rest on its accomplishments through 18 games.
Lakota West has been led by several players this season and that was evident on Saturday at Mason. Junior guard Sarah Jones tied a season-high 19 points to go along with six rebounds. Junior forward Jasmine Ballew tied a season-high 13 points and had six blocks. Lakota West and Mason are tied atop the GMC standings and it should be an interesting perspective at the remainder of the regular season.
Last week’s ranking: 1
This week’s schedule: Versus Alter Monday. At Lakota East Wednesday. Versus Hamilton Saturday.
Mason sophomore guard Sammie Puisis scored a career-high 29 points to go along with five rebounds and four steals Saturday in a loss to visiting Lakota West.
However, these two teams could meet again in what could be a regional tournament showdown. The Comets must have a short memory entering the sectional tournament.
Last week’s ranking: 4
This week’s schedule: At Mount Notre Dame Tuesday. Versus St. Ursula Thursday.
The Mohawks had three solid wins last week with victories over Ursuline (61-37), Mercy (52-39) and Beavercreek (60-50). Freshman guard Lexi Fleming, the daughter of La Salle coach Dan Fleming, had a team-high 16 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists in the win over Beavercreek.
4. Mount Notre Dame
Last week: 3
This week’s schedule: Versus McAuley Tuesday. At Ursuline Thursday. Versus Thurgood Marshall Saturday.
The Cougars had little trouble in Girls Greater Catholic League games against Mercy (79-37) and Seton (65-27) last week. Sophomore guard Gabbie Marshall continues to have a strong season and averages 14.1 points, 2.8 steals, 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Junior forward Abby Voss had a season-high 19 points to go along with eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks against Seton.
5. Summit Country Day
Last week: 8
This week’s schedule: At Turpin Monday. At St. Bernard Wednesday. At Ashland (Kentucky) Blazer Saturday.
Summit continues to dominant its competition in the regular season. Summit defeated Cincinnati Christian 70-26 Jan. 25. Summit played at Turpin Monday night.
Last week: 6
This week’s schedule: At Seton Tuesday. Versus Mount Notre Dame Thursday. Versus Seton Saturday.
The Lions lost to Springboro 59-53 Saturday and to McAuley earlier in the week. But senior forward Maddie Stuhlreyer (Harvard) had 17 points and eight rebounds against McAuley and 14 points and eight rebounds in a win over St. Ursula Jan. 26. Sophomore forward Emma Shaffer had 14 points and 11 rebounds against St. Ursula.
Last week: 7
This week’s schedule: At Lakota West Wednesday. Versus Lakota East Saturday.
Princeton has won two straight games in the GMC and has a tough stretch in the next week with games at Lakota West and against Mason Feb. 8. Junior forward DeAsia Reid continues to play well -- she had 16 points and eight rebounds in each of the past two games.
8. Walnut Hills
Last week: Unranked
This week’s schedule: Versus Anderson Wednesday. Versus Milford Saturday.
After back-to-back overtime losses, Walnut Hills has won two straight Eastern Cincinnati Conference games. Sophomore Kennedi Myles averages 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles. Junior Regan Anderson averages 11 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 steals.
9. Glen Este
Last week: Unranked
This week’s schedule: At Withrow (at Clark Montessori) Saturday. Versus Anderson Wednesday.
Glen Este gets credit for playing a tough schedule this regular season. The team has won five consecutive games including a 52-32 win at Kings Saturday. Junior forward Alexi Starks, the daughter of Ursuline coach and former University of Cincinnati basketball player Keith Starks, had 13 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the field. Junior guard Jasmine Hale and junior forward Kaylin Burdick each had 12 points.