By: Daniel Watkins
These D1 powerhouses both came into tonight’s matchup hoping to kick their week off with a big win. Lakota East led by senior guard Stedman Lowry looked to continue their winning ways and reach 5-0 while Winton Woods lead by junior point guard Ronnie Rousseau looked to win their second in a row in this young season.
From the tip it was obvious that Lakota East guard Stedman Lowry came out to play with his hot shooting performance in the first qtr giving him 15 early points as the Firebirds took a 22-21 lead going into the second. In the second qtr East continued with their hot shooting while taking their biggest lead of the game with 4 minutes left in the half at 37-29. With under a minute to go in the first half two quick scores by Winton Woods Ronnie Rousseau cut the lead in half and giving East a 43-39 halftime lead.
The opening part of the 3rd qtr was very slow paced with little scoring for either team. With 4:30 to go Winton Woods began increasing their on ball pressure and started to force a few East turnovers. Thanks in part to those East turnovers Winton Woods Senior Forward Trent Donald started to feast on the East defense in numerous ways. Whether it was from the free throw line, tip ins, jumpers you name it, Mr. Donald was converting on them all. The senior forward pulled off 10 straight points to end the 3rd, giving Winton Woods the 54-53 advantage.
This intense early season matchup came down to the 4th qtr to see whose defense would make more key stops. With less than 5 minutes left in the final qtr East Stedman Lowry drained a 3 from the top of the key giving East a 62-60 lead. From that point on there was nonstop action until the buzzer sounded. After a crucial put back on offense by Winton Woods Trent Donald the warriors found them self up 67-66 with 2 minutes left. East caught Winton Woods sleeping on defense while throwing a layup alley-opp to give them a one point lead with under 1 minute left. After pair of free throws were made by East, Winton woods found themselves down 3 points with 15 seconds left. A costly turnover in the closing moments by Winton Woods Senior Forward Kwan Cheatham (Akron Commit) all but sealed it giving East the hard-fought road win 72-68.
After scoring 13 points in the first half Lakota East did a good job of slowing down the explosive Winton woods point guard Ronnie Rousseau who finished with 15 points. Winton Woods Trent Donald led all scorers with 28 huge points (12 of those coming in the 3rd) Kwan Cheatham also chipped in 11 points to help the Warriors tonight. For East Stedman Lowry continued his early season scoring ways with 27 points. While only scoring 7 points in the second half Stedman did just enough to help his firebirds keep their perfect record at 5-0. Also for East senior guard Robbie Harpring was in double digits with 14 points.