STILWELL Sure, the Lawrence High boys basketball team is becoming well-known for its borderline ridiculous three-point attack.
But a lesson has been learned the past two days at the Blue Valley Shootout: Never underestimate the easy two-pointers closer to the basket.
Friday, the Lions once again missed frequently from three-point range, but still scored plenty overall, topping Kansas City (Mo.) Center, 88-61, in the consolation bracket.
The difference between Friday's 27-point victory and Thursday's 14-point loss to Lee's Summit (Mo.) wasn't so much the three-point shooting -- the Lions were less than 30 percent in both games from beyond the arc -- as much as it was two-point shooting. Friday, the layups were going in.
"If we increase our shooting percentage from the three-point line to be average," LHS coach Chris Davis said, "the point total is going to get way better."
Which could get way ridiculous, considering the 88-point total Friday wasn't exactly a dismal offensive performance.
With the Lions taking so many shots, they're seeing that some are bound to fall. Lawrence (2-1) was 12-of-47 (25.5 percent) from three-point range, an even worse percentage than in its 80-66 loss to Lee's Summit.
But the free-throw shooting was better, and the two-point shooting was a lot better. As a result, Thursday's loss was erased from the Lions' memory just 24 hours later by Friday's win.
"This particular style of play is a very emotional style of play," Davis said. "A lot of ups and downs. When we win it's great; and when we lose, it's very hard on us."
Added senior Will Thomas: "This puts our confidence right back up."
Thomas was the best example of what went right Friday. He was 3-of-4 from the field -- all layups -- and a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe to finish with 11 points.
As a team, Lawrence made 17 of 30 free throws.
"We opened the game with much more intensity than we did (against Lee's Summit)," Davis said. "That carried over to two-point baskets and work inside -- rebounding and everything."
And the three-pointers? Davis said they'll come around soon. It's never bad to have an off-night from the perimeter and still score 88 in a 27-point victory.
"It's tough to replicate in practice the intensity that you're going to face shooting three's in a game," Davis said. "I'm very confident that's going to get better and better."
Regardless, both Tyler Knight and Brennan Bechard hit three three-pointers Friday, and four other Lions had at least one trey. If the Lions shoot enough, eventually they'll make enough to give LHS a real chance to win.
"I've been playing basketball since I was 4," Thomas said. "And this is a whole different style of basketball, -- lots of threes."
Alex Ayre led LHS with 12 points. Seven different Lions scored at least nine points.
Lawrence now will face K.C. Sumner Academy at 3:15 p.m. today in the fifth-place game.