In a match-up with the GMC title on the line Lakota West (10-6) (7-3) visits Mason (14-2) (8-2). The Comets try to avenge the loss three weeks ago to Princeton, as the #1 team in the city, which made and easy path for Middletown (12-4) (9-1) to slip in and keep the reigns on the GMC Title. Mason has to hold it's home court and deal with Junior SG Monty Boykins and theThurderbirds. CPHR had a chance to ask some questions to Lakota West coach Sean Van Winkle and a trio of guards sophomore point guard Tyler Williams, junior point guard Ali Barnes and junior shooting guard Monty Boykins all are highly recruited prospects.
JB-Tyler, Last meeting you had 17 pts. to lead the Firebirds do you look to still stay aggressive or find other ways to get your teammates involved?
Tyler-"I'm gonna stay aggressive and find ways to get my teammates involved whether it's offensively or defensively, it has to be a team effort".
JB-What do you think the tempo of the game will be?
Tyler-"Get out in transition and be able to score, but we have to execute in the half-court".
JB-Monty, How do look into this game from the last meeting after scoring 14 pts. do you do more or less?
Monty-"I have to pick it up in every aspect of my game, do a little of everything to help my team win".
JB-Monty, Coming from Minnesota compare the talent there to Ohio?
Monty-"Cincinnati is all basketball I Love It the competition is very high here".
JB-Ali, Although being short in stature how is that an asset to you on the court?
Ali-"Defensively it's easy for me to steal the ball from the Big Men and defend with my quickness. Offensively it's easy for me to come off screens and I'm able to create my own shot or set-up my teammates".
JB-How do you look to contribute to the game to give your team a great chance at victory against Mason?
Ali-"By pressuring the ball, looking for open shots and not take any plays off, we need this win".
JB-Coach Van Winkle, Last meeting a 60-70 defeat you took a 7 pt. lead into the half and got outscored 39-23 in the second half. What do you look to change in this game?
Coach-"Hopefully a little more offense we did not shoot the ball well. We have to be patient with our shot selection and defensive scheme everyone has to buy in".
JB-How do you slow down the Big 3 of Mason (Harris, Sprague, and Van Kluenen) who accounted for 57 of their 70 pts.?
Coach-"Team Effort; We have to understand our responsibilities on the court and stop their system".
JB-With only 3 seniors on the team how have you prepared your kids for such a high level of Varsity play?
Coach-"Competition our schedule speaks for itself our 6 non-league games are against some tough competition and some tough venues to play in. Mentally Tough!"
Looking at this match-up this is a must see game with some GMC hardware on the line. CPHR believes it will go down to the last possession. The Thunderbirds fight all night and take the lead but the leadership of Mason is too much 62-58 in a GMCClassic.