High Schools: Lakota West routs Edgewood to reach district semis

The Edgewood girls basketball team knew going into its Division I district tournament game against Lakota West on Wednesday what it would be facing.

Knowing it and handling it are two different things.

The Firebirds’ active man-to-man defense kept the Cougars off-balance all night, leading to a 27.8 shooting percentage (12-of-43) on the way to a 65-35 loss in the nightcap of a doubleheader at Lakota East.

“That (Greater Miami Conference) pressure defense – that’s what we were worried about,” first-year Edgewood coach Xavier Fugate. “They came out and played defense the toughest. It’s hard when you don’t face it all year. That’s something we hope to bring to our program.”

Senior guard Amara Flores score 17 points, senior forward Emily Doerman had 12 points and senior forward Keiara Gregory also reached double figures with 11 for Lakota West (16-8), which never trailed while extending its winning streak to a season-high five straight games.

The eighth-seeded Firebirds are scheduled to meet top-seeded Mount Notre Dame in a district semifinal on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Lakota East. The 23-0 Cougars, who’ve won the last two Division I state championships and are the No. 1 team in the Associated Press Division I statewide poll, advanced with a 69-28 win over 31st-seeded Monroe in Wednesday’s opener.

Senior guard Cadence Boyd scored seven points to lead the Hornets, who finished 3-18.

In the nightcap, sophomore guard Riley Homan scored 13 points to lead Edgewood (15-9), but the Firebirds outrebounded the Cougars, 37-21, including 16 offensive rebounds that helped Lakota West to an 11-4 advantage in second-chance points. Flores and Doerman had seven rebounds apiece, while teammate Lily Johnson pulled down six.

The 18th-seeded Cougars missed all nine of the shots they tried in the first quarter while Lakota West was opening up a 13-0 lead. Senior guard Lizzy Allen sank Edgewood’s first shot of the second quarter to get the Cougars on the scoreboard, but Flores scored all 11 of her first-half points in the second quarter as they opened up a 30-10 led before settling for a 30-11 halftime lead.

Edgewood finished the first half 4-for-20 (20 percent) from the field and actually shot better on 3-pointers – 29.4 percent (5-of-17), led by Homan’s 3-for-3 – than overall (27.9 percent, 12-of-43) in the game.

Lakota West sank just four of 19 3-point tries (21.1 percent), but shot 47.4 percent (27-of-57) from the field.

Though the finale didn’t go as he’d hoped, Fugate proclaimed himself satisfied with the Cougars’ season, which followed a 20-3 year.

“For not getting the job until three days before no contact, I think 15 wins is pretty good,” he said. “I think Riley’s the best point guard in the state. We’ll not see any more 30-point losses to GMC teams. You can write that down.”

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