STILWELL As one missed shot turned into several, Lawrence HighÃ¢ÂÂs boys basketball coach Chris Davis kept waiting for his team to catch a break.
But before he knew it, LeeÃ¢ÂÂs Summit (Mo.) North had opened an eight-point lead and his Lions still hadnÃ¢ÂÂt found their offensive rhythm.
As one poor-shooting quarter turned into two, then three, Davis watched his team struggle to a 69-49 loss in the semifinals of the Blue Valley Shootout on Friday.
Ã¢ÂÂWe forced a couple of shots,Ã¢ÂÂ Davis said. Ã¢ÂÂThey werenÃ¢ÂÂt terrible shots, but they werenÃ¢ÂÂt good shots. And when they didnÃ¢ÂÂt go in, it spilled into the whole game.
Ã¢ÂÂWhen that happens, it becomes a mental game.Ã¢ÂÂ
LHS (2-1) was 4-of-18 in that decisive first quarter, unable to put back offensive rebounds or get a friendly bounce. The Broncos (5-1) converted on nearly everything inside in staking a 16-8 lead, then used their full-court pressure to shut down LHS in the second quarter. Lawrence took just seven shots in the second period, five of which were three-point attempts.
In those first two quarters, the BroncosÃ¢ÂÂ experience was evident - theyÃ¢ÂÂve been practicing for two weeks longer and have played in twice as many games.
Ã¢ÂÂThey have more tools at their disposal as far as the offense and defense is concerned,Ã¢ÂÂ Davis said. Ã¢ÂÂWe tried running three defenses - thatÃ¢ÂÂs it.Ã¢ÂÂ
When LHS junior guard Taylor Parker asserted himself in the third quarter by driving the lane and spreading out the LeeÃ¢ÂÂs Summit defense, LHS still had some shooting shakes.
When senior Bryan Cargill nailed a couple of three-pointers, the Lions struggled again, despite ParkerÃ¢ÂÂs penetration.
Ã¢ÂÂIt pretty frustrating, but the important thing is that we were getting those shots,Ã¢ÂÂ Parker said. Ã¢ÂÂJust getting those opportunities was huge.Ã¢ÂÂ
Besides the shooting woes - LHS made 15 of 57 shots to LeeÃ¢ÂÂs SummitÃ¢ÂÂs 27-of-60 shooting - the Lions were outrebounded for the first time this season and forced just five turnovers.
With five LeeÃ¢ÂÂs Summit players in double figures - led by Drew Korschot with 16 points and Tyler Northway with 13 - the outcome wasnÃ¢ÂÂt hard to figure. LHS just didnÃ¢ÂÂt have the firepower.
Brian Seymour led LHS with nine points, and Parker finished with eight.
But when the Lions play in the third-place game against Blue Valley at 5 p.m. today, theyÃ¢ÂÂll try to shrug off the loss and hope that this time, they get a few bounces their way.
Ã¢ÂÂThis is one of the things we will recover from,Ã¢ÂÂ Davis said.
Added Parker, Ã¢ÂÂI think it will be pretty easy to motivate ourselves for (today). This teamÃ¢ÂÂs going to learn from this loss and get better from it.Ã¢ÂÂ