Boys Basketball

Boys basketball: Offense leads Middletown to season sweep of GMC rival Lakota West

WEST CHESTER TWP. — Chandler Shields didn’t sugarcoat the circumstances. Sure, Middletown wanted to get back into the Greater Miami Conference mix.

But it went well beyond that.

“This was so big,” the junior forward said. “This is very huge for us because that was against our old coach. Now we got it swept.”

Shields scored a game-high 20 points, Jeremiah Landers added 16 and Isaac Stamper had 15 as Middletown beat Lakota West 67-55 on Friday night.

The Middies (13-6, 8-5 GMC) won the first meeting earlier this season 69-59 at Wade E. Miller Arena and are now winners of five straight against the Firebirds. 

Kelven Moss was at Middletown for two seasons before taking the head coaching job at Lakota West last March. That alone heightened the anticipation of a crowded Lakota West gymnasium.

“I really feel like this win boosted our team and our demeanor for how we will play in the next couple of games,” Shields said. “It will help come tournament time, too.”

With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the GMC championship conversation isn’t done just yet.

Isaiah Meade-Moss and LJ Green each had 14 points for the Firebirds (12-6, 9-4 GMC) who dropped a game back from conference-leading Sycamore. The Middies are two games back from the Aviators — who beat Mason in overtime Friday — and Hamilton beat Princeton to remain a game back.

“We’re in a big race these last three games,” Moss said. “We still control what we can control. But I hate to drop one at home tonight. There was great energy in the building. We just needed one more guy to step up for us to get us over the hump offensively.”

“We’re going to finish strong with what we’ve got in front of us,” Middletown coach Bill Edwards Jr. chimed in. “We’re going to control what we can control.”

The first quarter was fast-paced and high-scoring. Middletown owned the advantage after the first eight minutes, 24-21, but both teams shot the ball well. The Middies led 39-31 at the break.

“That start was like an NBA game,” Edwards said. “It was like the first team to miss, basically. Our guys kept going.”

Middletown fired 14 of 24 (58%) from the floor and 7 of 11 (63%) from behind the arc in the first half, which was something Moss said he didn’t have on the scouting report.

“Middletown did a great job of executing. They made shots that I hadn’t seen them make all year,” Moss said. “They played a great game. I tip my hat to them. Bill does a great job with them.

“I think we played solid. But I think we missed shots in the second half that we made in the first half that could have been a difference-maker of us having a closer game.”

Bryce Curry had 12 points and Isaiah Tyson bucketed 10 for Lakota West, which shot 21 of 50 (41%) for the game. Middletown finished 23 of 47 (48%) from the field and 9 of 10 (90%) at the line.

“I love that our guys played hard,” Edwards said. “We had a couple of lapses here and there. But I feel like we practice just as hard as anybody — even further going into the season. That’s going to pay off.”


Both programs get back to action on Friday. Lakota West travels to Lakota East, while Middletown visits Princeton.

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