Boys basketball: Erie wins Northern League battle of top teams, beats Windsor at home

Rademacher scores 16 in win

  • Erie’s Kampbell Sakalosky goes up for a shot against Windsor’s Jaden Kennis during the teams’ game on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021 at Erie High School. (Photo by Brad Cochi/

  • Erie’s Jordan Nguyen tried to get to the basket against Windsor's Ben Hageman during the teams’ game on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021 at Erie High School. (Photo by Brad Cochi/

  • Brad Cochi/

    Erie’s Cole Rademacher goes up for a layup against Windsor’s Jaden Kennis during the teams’ game on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021 at Erie High School.


ERIE — Having just been dealt its first loss of the season, the Erie boys basketball team felt like sharing some of that pain with conference rival Windsor on Monday night.

That unique combination of motivation and animosity helped the Tigers capture a signature victory.

Hosting the Wizards — the No. 2-ranked team in Class 4A, according to the coaches poll — at Erie High School, the eighth-ranked Tigers pulled ahead just before halftime and steadily built their lead on the way to a 71-59 victory. It was exactly what the Tigers needed.

“It means a lot because we just lost to Silver Creek and we know we can hang with any team, so we just proved it,” Cole Rademacher said. “They’re a very good team and we always struggle against them, but knew we just had to do what we had to do and we’d win.”

Rademacher seemed particularly driven on Monday, scoring a team-high 16 and leading the Tigers (5-1, 3-1) with nine points in a critical third quarter to help increase their lead to 11 with a minute left before the fourth. That lead dwindled to six to start the final frame but the Tigers were able to hold off the Wizards (6-1, 3-1) and senior Ben Hageman, who led all scorers with 25 points.

“We dropped our first one against Silver Creek last week and we felt like we shouldn’t have,” Tigers head coach Jimmy Lucero said. “We’re a scrappy team and when we’re on, we can play with anybody. Windsor is a physical team and when we match teams’ physicality instead of relying on our speed, we’re good enough to play with anybody.”

Lucero added that the Tigers aren’t the best shooting team around, and they tend to make their mark with defense and attacking off the dribble. But the Tigers hit eight 3-pointers against the Wizards, getting a pair each from Rademacher, Kayan Hargrave and Kael Lucero. Tigers senior Kevin Loy, who entered Monday’s game averaging a team-high 15.2 points, scored 14, Hargrave had 11, Jordan Nguyen chipped in 10, and Tristan Rademacher and Lucero finished with eight apiece.

Windsor senior Jaden Kennis also scored 19 points.

Erie will play Holy Family on Wednesday and then take on No. 10 Centaurus on Friday. Windsor will have another big-time matchup when the Wizards take on No. 1 Mead on Wednesday.

“We’re in a tough league and we’ve got some big games coming up,” Lucero said. “So, it was good for us to win tonight and hopefully get our momentum going again.”