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Archive for Saturday, March 2, 2002

Lions advance

March 2, 2002

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B-Mac was on the attack Friday night.

Lawrence High junior Brandon McAnderson scored a career-high 22 points and had 12 rebounds to lift the No. 4-ranked Lions to a 62-50 victory over Leavenworth in the Class 6A sub-state boys basketball semifinals at Free State.

"I just do what coach (Chris) Davis tells me to do," said the 6-foot-1 McAnderson, who connected on 10 of 13 field-goal attempts. "He's been telling me this for a while and I kind of let it go through one ear and out the other."

McAnderson, who also had three assists and three steals, made sure to listen to his coach this time.

"He tells me to go to the hole strong all the time," said McAnderson, whose 10 field goals all came in the paint. "Sometimes I shoot threes and jumpers and that's not really the strength of my game."

The Lions (17-4) will play No. 5 Olathe East (16-5) at 8 tonight for a berth in next week's 6A state tournament in Emporia. O-East advanced with a 53-52 victory over Free State to spoil a rematch of last year's sub-state final between LHS and FSHS. Lawrence defeated Olathe East, 65-61, two weeks ago in Olathe.

Against Leavenworth's triangle-and-two defense, McAnderson was masterful. McAnderson, who averaged 6.9 points during the regular season, scored Lawrence's first six points on drives down the middle of the lane and the Pioneers never recovered, ending their season with an 8-13 record.

"That really helped Brandon out," Davis said of the defense that allowed McAnderson to score 10 points in the first quarter. "It let Brandon go to the basket. He was very pleased to see that defense."

The top-seeded Lions bolted to a 13-3 lead and were up 20-9 entering the second quarter. Lawrence led 32-19 at halftime and the Pioneers never pulled closer than 11 in the second half. Lawrence led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter en route to its second win over Leavenworth, the sub-state's bottom seed, in eight days.

"We knew if we could get an early lead our goal was to try and keep a little bit extension and not have to do much other than make passes and cuts," Davis said. "We didn't want to have to play a full game. We were lucky enough to do that."

The Lions, trying to reach state for the first time since 1995, dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Pioneers 31-15.

McAnderson, Stephen Vinson (11 points) and D.J. Watkins (10) all scored in double figures for the Lions.

"People step up one at a time," said LHS senior forward Jamie Peterson, who scored eight points. "There's not one person we look to score for every game. Brandon did what he was supposed to do and he had a great game."

Vinson finished with a team-high five assists.

Leavenworth was led by junior Casey Harris, who had 11 points and two of the Pioneers' nine three-pointers. The Pioneers shot 51.4 percent from the field (19-for-37) and were 9-for-23 from three point range.

Cable channel 6 will show a replay of the sub-state final at 10:30 tonight and 11 a.m. Sunday.

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