“We definitely wanted to play Springboro,” said senior forward Kylie Zurlinden, who logged a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Indians. “When we heard they won, we got excited.”
“Springboro’s really good,” Lakota West coach Andy Fishman said. “Either way, we knew we’d be playing a really good team. We have to be better prepared. We know what they’re about. We know they’ll be ready for us. They’ve been scouting us all year. We have to play better defense. Last time, they made us look like Swiss cheese.”
Sophomore Chance Gray led both teams with 16 points despite returning to practice on Sunday after missing a week, Fishman said. Junior Kaitlyn Dudukovich finished with 14 points and senior Navaeh Dean scored all 10 of her points in the first half, helping Lakota West extend its winning streak to nine games.
The second-seeded Firebirds outrebounded 17th-seeded Fairfield (11-14) 42-23, including 24 defensive rebounds, and enjoyed advantages of 24-8 in second-chance points and 15-4 in points off turnovers. Senior guard Karlee Mills scored 11 points to lead the Indians, who were held to a 23.4 field-goal percentage (11-of-47).
“We knew we had to make shots right away and put some pressure on them,” Fairfield coach Dave Loper said. “We needed that right off the bat. We didn’t get it. They’re a good team. We hope they do well in the tournament.”
In Monday’s opener, top-seeded Mount Notre Dame romped to an 86-25 win over 14th-seeded Edgewood. Undefeated Mount Notre Dame, the No. 1 team in the Associated Press Division I statewide poll and the defending state champion, led 52-15 at halftime. The second half was played with a running clock.
Zoe Stephen and Callie Hunt each scored six points to lead Edgewood (18-7), which wrapped up its most successful season since the 2016-2017 campaign. The swarming Mount Notre Dame defense limited Edgewood to a 23.7 field-goal percentage (9-of-38) and forced 19 turnovers while Mount Notre Dame was shooting 58.6 percent (34-of-58) and committing just three turnovers.
Mount Notre Dame advances to play in a district championship game on Saturday at Princeton against sixth-seeded Loveland, which advanced with a 55-41 win over No. 7 Mason on Monday at Lakota East.
Dean came out hot in the nightcap, scoring six of Lakota West’s first 11 points as the Firebirds opened up an 11-0 lead before Zaria Black scored for Fairfield on a driving layup 4 minutes, 48 seconds into the game.
Lakota West closed the first half with a 24-6 run for a 44-16 halftime lead. The game went to a running clock toward the end of the third quarter.