Olathe If Lawrence High's boys basketball team had received those little heart-shaped Valentine Day's candies before Wednesday's makeup game against Olathe South, the candies would have had "HOT STUFF" etched in them.
The Lions were hot at the start and cruised to a 57-41 Sunflower League victory over the Falcons, their first win against O-South since 1995. LHS (13-5 overall, 5-3 league) bolted to a 16-2 lead and held a commanding 24-6 advantage after one quarter.
Lawrence 57,Olathe South 41
|LAWRENCE (57)Stephen Vinson 4-7 2-4 14D.J. Watkins 3-9 2-3 9Mark Frederick 3-5 0-0 7C.J. Kie 2-2 0-0 4Martin deBoer 3-6 2-2 8Terrelle Johnson 2-4 0-0 4Devin McAnderson 4-5 0-0 9Grant VanBlaricum 1-1 0-0 2Brandon McAnderson 0-0 0-0 0Jamie Peterson 0-0 0-0 0Casey Rahmeier 0-0 0-0 0David Parkinson 0-1 0-0 0Richard Mumford 0-0 0-0 0Totals 22-40 6-9 57.|
|OLATHE SOUTH (41)Trey O'Dell 1-5 0-0 3Jon Lewis 1-3 0-0 2Jason Santifer 3-5 3-6 9Ryan Rundberg 3-8 4-4 10Mike Grisell 1-1 0-0 2Ben Staley 1-2 0-1 3Joel Kellen 2-5 2-2 6Kelly O'Dell 2-3 0-1 4Steve Jackson 1-3 0-0 2Chad Bohi 0-0 0-0 0Josh Kirk 0-0 0-0 0Kevin Borders 0-0 0-0 0Totals 15-35 9-14 41.|
|Three-point goals Lawrence 7-15 (Vinson 4-6, D. McAnderson 1-1, Frederick 1-3, Watkins 1-5), Olathe South 2-12 (Staley 1-2, T. O'Dell 1-4, Lewis 0-1, Santifer 0-1, Jackson 0-1, Kellen 0-1, Rundberg 0-2)Total fouls Lawrence 11, Olathe South 14Technical Olathe South coach John McFallTurnovers Lawrence 14, Olathe South 14.|
"We came out pretty focused," said LHS coach Chris Davis, whose team was coming off an 83-79 loss to Olathe East on Monday. "This was a really big game for us. We knew the importance of this game. I think this is the first game we took control from the beginning to the end this year."
LHS shot 72.7 percent (8-for-11) in the opening quarter when it made four of five three-point attempts. Lion junior guard Stephen Vinson hit three treys in the first quarter and finished with a game-high 14 points.
"We knew to get our confidence back we'd have to start off strong," said Vinson, who also had four assists. "Personally I wanted to get off to a good start. We did a great job of playing good team basketball in the beginning and we ran away with it from the start."
LHS held a 35-20 halftime lead over the Falcons (9-8, 1-6) and were never threatened in the second half. Davis emphasized to his players at the break not to get overconfident.
"At halftime that was our big talk," Davis said. "We knew they were good enough to come back. We changed our defense that made them have to work a bit more."
The Lions' biggest lead came with 2:13 left in the third quarter when Grant VanBlaricum scored on a stick-back to give LHS a 53-27 advantage.
The Falcons never pulled closer than 16 in the fourth quarter. LHS scored just two points in the final period.
Junior D.J. Watkins, coming off a career-high 31-point performance, and senior Devin McAnderson scored nine points apiece for the Lions.
McAnderson said there was carryover from Monday's loss to Olathe East in which the Lions scored 29 points in the fourth quarter.
"We talked about how we came out intense in the fourth quarter against Olathe East and if we started the game that way we could blow out every team we play," said McAnderson, who provided four assists. "We hit some shots and got off to a big lead."
LHS senior C.J. Kie snagged a team-high seven rebounds.
The Lions shot better than 50 percent from the floor for the second consecutive game, connecting on 55 percent of their field-goal attempts (22-for-40). The Lions were 7-for-15 from three-point range and have made 19 treys the past two games.
LHS worked patiently before taking shots.
"We're blessed with some shooters and that's hard for them to want to give that ball up when they have a decent look," Davis said.
The Lions substituted often with Mark Frederick and Brandon McAnderson back in the lineup after being sidelined with injuries on Monday.
"We had enough bodies that we could really work them and push them," Davis said. "We knew they weren't going to have much depth. Our goal was to make our second group press them and tire them out."
With win, the Lions moved into a tie with Overland Park Aquinas for the No. 2 sub-state seed. Leavenworth currently is the top seed.
In the junior varsity contest, Olathe South eked out a 37-34 win over LHS. Brandon McAnderson scored 12 points to pace the Lions (11-6).
LHS will play tonight at Shawnee Mission Northwest for its third game in four days. Tipoff for the Sunflower League contest is 7:15 p.m. The Cougars are 10-6 overall and 4-3 in the league.