CINCINNATI – This Saturday’s Lakota West at Mason girls’ basketball game has all the ingredients of another classic.
These two Greater Miami Conference powers meet for a second time after Mason won 44-42 at West Dec. 3.
Also, Ursuline and Kings enter the Power 9 this week with impressive resumes. Let’s take a closer look at these nine teams to watch:
Last week’s ranking: 1
This week’s schedule: At Oak Hills Wednesday. Versus Lakota West Saturday.
After Friday afternoon’s practice, Mason coach Rob Matula told his team not to look ahead to next week. It followed his sage advice and promptly defeated Fairfield 66-40 on Saturday. All five starters scored in double digits. It’s been that kind of season for the Comets. But, they aren’t satisfied. A showdown with No. 2 Lakota West awaits on Saturday. That will be an excellent test for the Comets. Watch for sophomore guard Sammie Puisis and senior forward Samari Mowbray (Miami University commit) these final few weeks of the regular season.
2. Lakota West
Last week’s ranking: 2
This week’s schedule: Versus Hamilton Wednesday. At Mason Saturday.
The Firebirds enjoyed one of the most lopsided wins against district rival Lakota East in recent memory with a 61-18 victory on Saturday. Lakota West led 14-0 after the first quarter and 36-2 at halftime. Junior guard/forward Abby Prohaska had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists. Junior guard Alexandra Haar had a season-high 12 points off the bench. The Firebirds face an interesting challenge with Mason on Saturday, but coach Andy Fishman will have his team ready.
3. Mount Notre Dame
Last week’s ranking: 3
This week’s schedule: At Mercy Tuesday. Versus Seton Thursday.
The Cougars defeated St. Ursula 66-18 in MND’s only game last week. Sophomore guard Gabbie Marshall had 11 points and a season-high eight steals for the Cougars. Look for MND’s home game against McAuley Jan. 31 to be an interesting matchup.
Last week: 4
This week’s schedule: Versus Ursuline Tuesday. Versus Mercy Thursday. Versus Beavercreek Saturday.
McAuley holds a one-game lead over MND in the Girls Greater Catholic League standings. Last week, McAuley proved to be successful in two games against Winton Woods (69-5) and at Seton (59-35). Senior forward Alexah Chrisman (Rice signee) averages 12.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.8 steals. Junior guard Hallie Heidemann averages 11.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals.
Last week: Unranked
This week’s schedule: At Little Miami Wednesday. Versus Glen Este Saturday.
Kings moves into the Power 9 this week having won five consecutive games. Four players scored double digits in a 70-58 win over visiting Loveland Saturday. Senior guard Taylor Brown had 18 points and three assists for Kings. Sophomore forward Carolyn Bruns had 17 points and a season-high 14 rebounds.
Last week: Unranked
This week’s schedule: At McAuley Tuesday. Versus St. Ursula Thursday. At Springboro Saturday.
The Lions have won six consecutive games since a loss at Walnut Hills on Dec. 22. Coach Keith Starks, a former UC player, has multiple players with significant offensive impact including senior guard Elle Folan (12.7 ppg.), senior forward Maddie Stuhlreyer (11.1 ppg.), a Harvard signee, and 6-2 sophomore forward Emma Shaffer (10.4 ppg., 8.5 rpg.).
Last week: 5
This week’s schedule: At Fairfield Wednesday. Versus Oak Hills Saturday.
Princeton won seven consecutive games prior to an 81-30 loss at Mason Jan. 18. The Vikings bounced back and defeated Louisville Assumption 44-36 two days later before they lost to Louisville Christian 94-65. Junior forward DeAsia Reid leads Princeton by averaging 11.3 points and 10.1 rebounds.
8. Summit Country Day
Last week: 6
This week’s schedule: Versus Cincinnati Christian Wednesday.
Summit Country Day hasn’t been challenged much lately having scored 60-plus points in six consecutive games. Summit defeated CHCA 62-7 Jan. 14 and defeated Norwood a week later 66-15. Summit is led by multiple players including junior guards Kiana Allen (11.3 ppg.), Alea Harris (10.4 ppg.) and Ravin Alexander (10.3 ppg.).
Last week: 8
This week’s schedule: At Wyoming Wednesday. At Deer Park Saturday.
Mariemont is undefeated in January having won seven consecutive games. Senior center Rebekah Justice (Iona signee) had 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in a 42-28 win over Indian Hill last week. Mariemont has a one-game lead over Madeira in the Cincinnati Hills League standings.