For now, at least, Mike Schwartz is a Primatine Mist kind of guy.
Schwartz, Lawrence High's junior center, has suffered from asthma since returning from the holiday break. Schwartz also has come off the bench for the Lions and played some of his best basketball over the same stretch.
"I feel like I get more into the game and I can come in more intense and bring some spark off the bench," Schwartz said.
He has settled into his reserve role in spite of the condition that settled into his chest over the break.
"Over Christmas I had a bad chest cold," he said. "Conditioning has been a problem. I have to use an inhaler at halftime."
Last Friday, Lawrence used a superior defense to subdue Olathe North, 65-49, in a Sunflower League game.
LHS JUMPED on top quickly, then used its depth to keep the pressure on the Eagles, who committed 20 turnovers.
"Coming in here, their crowd was on us," guard Adam Green said. "It was good that we came out and played well."
Green, who didn't play before the holidays because of an ankle injury, is slowing gaining minutes on the court.
"It takes a little while to get used to it," Green said, "but you just have to keep going and practicing hard and basketball will start transferring into your blood."
At 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the league, the Lions are starting to transform into a team with an identity.
"We're getting better leadership out of our starters," forward Shane Robinson said. "Early in the year we had some problems, but Maurice (Trotter) and Mike (Cosey) and (Jeff) Oatis are starting to step it up."
GREEN, WHO, along with Cosey, was an all-state football player, and Robinson, who quarterbacked the Lions to the 6A state championship, do not mind their reduced roles on the basketball court.
"With so many substitutions, it helps team unity," Robinson said. "Plus, we get in at critical parts of the game, which makes you feel more a part of the team. It's just fun to play with these guys."
Lawrence will entertain Shawnee Mission North on Friday. The Indians are 4-2 after tripping SM South, 32-31, last Friday.