Overland Park Shawnee Mission West served as the appetizer on Monday for what Lawrence High's boys basketball team hopes will be the main course in a couple of days.
The Lions hit 10 three-pointers during their 67-55 Sunflower League victory over the Vikings in the SW West gym, three days before LHS will play host to top-ranked and league-leading Olathe South.
"We were real excited to play," said LHS senior guard Stephen Vinson, who scored a game-high 22 points with four three-pointers. "It's been awhile since we played. We know what's ahead and this is practice for what's coming up."
LHS (13-3 overall, 6-1 league) overcame a slow start and took control late in the first quarter to upend SM West (9-7, 3-4). The Lions trailed 14-6 with three minutes left in the first period before unloading a 15-0 run the next five minutes to take the lead for good.
"I was glad to see we kept our composure and found a way to kick it into gear," said LHS coach Chris Davis, whose squad has won three in a row and 12 of 13 heading into Thursday's showdown against O-South (15-1, 8-0). "Once that started rolling there was no stopping us offensively. Things went our way."
The Lions led 35-23 at halftime with Vinson (15 points) and senior teammate D.J. Watkins (eight points) matching SM West's point total the first 16 minutes.
LHS had seven three-pointers in the first half with Vinson popping three and Watkins and junior Bryan Cargill connecting on two apiece.
"The three-point shot is a big part of our offense all the time with Stephen, D.J. And Cargill," Davis said. "If we get looks, we're going to shoot them. I have confidence in them."
Cargill, who hadn't scored in the Lions' three previous games, finished with a season-high 14 points with four three-pointers.
"I have streaks," Cargill said. "If I don't hit my shot in the junior varsity game, sometimes I come into the varsity and hit it. Some days I'm off and some days I'm feeling it."
LHS felt it early in the second half. Ahead by 12 at halftime, LHS opened the third quarter with a 16-7 run for a 21-point advantage Â 51-30. The Lions scored on their first two possessions of the fourth quarter for a 55-34 lead.
The Vikings responded with an 18-4 run behind 10 points from forward Jeff Scott and three three-pointers to close within seven Â 59-52. LHS called time with 3:05 left and secured the victory with an 8-3 run, ignited by Jamie Peterson's power move inside.
"It seems like the other kids have a way knocking down some shots," said Davis, whose Lions nearly wasted a big lead last week against Kansas City Wyandotte before hanging on. "We stopped it quicker tonight than we have in a past. We took a timeout, talked about it and executed."
The Lions shot 50 percent from the field (25-for-50) and outrebounded the Vikings 31-17. Scott, a Washburn University football signee, had 19 points to pace SM West.
Vinson has scored 46 points in his past two games. Last season at SM West, he erupted for a career-high 25 points.
"There's something about these rims," Vinson said. "These rims are pretty kind. I definitely like playing here. I wish sub-state was here."
Tipoff for the LHS-Olathe South game on Thursday is 7 p.m. in the Lions' gym.