Kettering, Ohio — The first Dayton team to play at Flyin’ to the Hoop was the Alter Knights of the GCL Co-Ed. Alter followed a blowout game between Woodward and Walnut Ridge. Walnut Ridge, a city league team from Columbus destroyed Paul McMillan and Cincinnati Woodward as UD head coach Anthony Grant watched from the stands. Grant stayed for the Alter game as well, Dayton has offered Lutheran East three-star Jalin Billingsley.
The first quarter was very back and forth as both teams shot the ball very well. B.J. Busbee and Jack Smith went at it as both players made shot after shot. Smith’s work on the offensive glass also paid off but Lutheran East still led after the first, 16-12.
Both teams continued to trade buckets in the second quarter but then the Falcons began to pull away. Jalen Knott nailed a three-ball that put Lutheran East up 9. Alter called a timeout and tried to start a run of their own as Uhl got a layup but then Knott hit another three and suddenly Luthern East was up 10. Alter senior Brady Uhl added another layup but a Jalin Billingsley dunk was all Alter could remember heading into the locker room down 10 at halftime.
Jack Smith continued to hit threes but the relentless scoring of B.J. Busbee and Sirr Hughes made it almost impossible for Alter to mount any type of comeback. Brady Uhl played well in the third quarter as he kept Alter in the game with layup after layup. Alter cut the deficit to 8 but Jalin Billingsley hit a big three that put the Falcons up 11. After some free-throws and Jalen Knott steal and score, Lutheran East led 52-34 which was the biggest lead of the game. Knott extended that lead with an and-one that put the Falcons up by 20 points. He would convert on the free-throw and after a wide-open three missed by Brady Uhl at the buzzer, Lutheran East led 55-34 heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter felt like Jack Smith versus Lutheran East as Smith seemed to be the only player scoring for the Knights and whatever he did it was quickly matched by either Jalen Knott or Jalin Billingsley as that duo for Lutheran East proved to be deadly for Alter in the second half. Conor Stolly hit a three in the fourth and Jack Smith hit yet another three making it his fifth of the day. In the end, it was just too little too late as Lutheran East ran over Alter 72-52 in blowout fashion.
Jack Smith finished with 21 points for the Knights in one of the best games of his career and Uhl added on 14 points as well. In end it wasn’t enough as Jalin Billingsley’s 20 points, B.J. Busbee’s 18 points, and Jalen Knott’s 15 points were too much for the Knights to handle.
Alter will need to bounce back quickly as they have a major GCL Co-Ed showdown versus McNicholas on Friday and the Knights will be well prepared for that matchup as they have another week to get ready for one of the top games of the season in the GCL Co-Ed.