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The West Press

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Bryce Curry and West Firebirds Sweep Lakota East as The GMC Heats Up

For the first time since the 2011-2012 season, the Lakota West Firebirds men’s basketball team has completed a two-game series sweep of the Lakota East Thunderhawks.
Bryce Curry and West Firebirds Sweep Lakota East as The GMC Heats Up

As the Firebirds headed into the heart of Liberty Township last Friday night, they were a hungry group that sat a game out of first place in the Greater Miami Conference standings. While they had come close many times in the season, the team struggled to win vital games to propel them past the first-place Sycamore Aviators.

To add to this hunger, they had already taken care of business against the Thunderhawks in West Chester earlier in the season, taking down their district rivals 56-46.

As the game tipped off, a sold-out crowd rocked the gym for the Hawks’s senior night. The senior-filled East lineup would enter a back-and-forth with the Firebirds throughout the start of the quarter until Trey Perry entered the game for Lakota East to help finish the quarter with a 12-7 East lead.

Perry, still the leading scorer in the GMC by a safe margin, would be the key to the game for the Firebirds. Lock him down again, and success would follow. However, after Perry was held to only 12 points in the first meeting with Coach Moss’s squad, stopping the junior guard wasn’t going to be an easy task.

Unlike the first game, West would stay strong in the second quarter, but they would end up allowing a 7-0 East run in the final two minutes of the quarter, sending them to the half down by eight with a score of 26-18.

The second half, however, would turn the tides entirely, as Bryce Curry had a breakout game for the ages. Curry, the 6’3 freshman, put on an offensive clinic, leading the way for the Firebird offense with five show-stopping dunks, including a couple of posters that sent the student section into a frenzy.

“@CoachKelvinMoss has those boys flying high,” remarked one X user in response to a clip of Curry’s impressive fourth dunk of the night.

The Firebirds would outscore the Thunderhawks 15-9 in the third, paving the way for a strong fourth quarter that led to a final score of 55-50 in favor of Lakota West. 

The win did more than provide bragging rights for Lakota West. It provides them a chance to play for a GMC championship against Sycamore on Tuesday night on their own hardwood. With a win, the Firebirds would create a tie for first place to send the season down to the final night of conference games. West will play Hamilton, and Sycamore will play Fairfield.

Rather than diving into the implications of each game, West should be focusing on one thing: winning. If they win out over their final two games, they will, at minimum, win a share of the GMC title with the Aviators.

“I’m just preparing by watching a lot of film,” remarked the Firebirds’s senior forward, Hakeem Smith. “Me and my team [are] keeping the same mentality [of] staying aggressive throughout the ups and downs.”

Smith went on to add, “I feel like [for] Middletown, I wasn’t there as a scorer or aggressive. I can’t go back to that.”

Smith currently sits atop the Firebirds in three-point field goal percentage as they move into their final couple of regular season games.

Tip-off against Sycamore is slated for 7:30 in West Chester, with senior night festivities before the game. Live TV coverage can be found on Lakota West Student Broadcasting.

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About the Writer
Nick Johnson
Nick Johnson, Editor-in-Chief
Nick Johnson is a third-year journalism student in his senior year. Nick is very involved around the school, as a peer counseling lead team member and doing PA announcing for the baseball team in the spring. He is also a leader of the Lakota West Student Broadcasting Club. Nick enjoys writing about sports, specifically football, as he is a huge NFL fan. Specifically, he is a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions. He also does writing for other sports, and you can read all of his articles and more here on the West Press.

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