FAIRBORN, Ohio – With the game-winning net wrapped around this neck, Andrew Emrick was speechless.
The Lakota East boys' basketball team upset state-ranked No. 1 Huber Heights Wayne 60-57 in a Division I district final Saturday afternoon.
Emrick, a senior forward, had a game-high 21 points including 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.
“It still hasn’t set in,” Emrick said. “This is just something I will remember with my teammates and my brothers forever.”
The Thunderhawks (18-7) made their second district final appearance in school history and first since 2011.
Lakota East coach Clint Adkins told his team before the game that Wayne was an excellent team, but that the Thunderhawks belonged.
“The way we play fits with how they don’t want to play,” Emrick said. “Huge shots. Ryan (Middendorf) came out and hit the first three and got the ice broken. I’m speechless right now.”
Senior guard Ryan Middendorf had 17 points and four rebounds. Junior Evan Kuhlman had 11 points and six rebounds.
“To say that I was confident that we would definitely beat them –not the case,” Adkins said. “We knew we could compete. All week we told these kids in the fourth quarter make it a game. The pressure turns on them and they are the defending D-I state champs.”
Lakota East, which advances to play La Salle or Centerville in a regional semifinal Wednesday at Xavier.
Lakota East made 6 of 10 free throws. The Thunderhawks were clutch down the stretch.
“I cannot say enough but these kids,” Adkins said.
Wayne (25-1), ranked No. 9 nationally by MaxPreps, led 34-25 at halftime.
The Warriors were led by Trey Landers and Chazz George with 15 points each. Demond Parker had 14 points.