Lawrence High's boys basketball team may have met its defensive equal -- or superior.
LHS, one of the top defensive teams in the Sunflower League, was continually on its heels from Shawnee Mission East's aggressive, half-court defense. More surprising was that LHS couldn't respond with tough 'D' of its own.
Put together, the Lions were in over their heads in a 58-40 loss to the Lancers on Friday at LHS.
"Our lack of discipline was very frustrating. No matter what defense we ran, we didn't run it well," LHS coach Chris Davis said. "When you're a team that takes pride in your defense, that's a hard pill to swallow.
"We let their defense dictate the game, and they did a good job with that."
The Lancers (3-2) held Lawrence to 40 percent shooting, forced 17 turnovers and generally kept the Lions (3-3) from doing anything they wanted.
Lawrence's big men -- seniors Derrick Newman and Brad Collier -- took four shots and were held to a combined six points, 11 below their collective average.
Senior Bryan Cargill, who came in averaging 10 points a game, only took four shots and finished with three points.
Junior point guard Taylor Parker was hot early, hitting a couple of three-pointers, but missed his final six shots.
The only guy who had any offensive success was senior Brandon McAnderson, because he was the sole Lion driving the lane. He had a team-high 10 points.
"They kept the pressure on us," McAnderson said. "We need to remember it's about getting the ball on offense, staying in the three-point stance and being aggressive."
That was SM East's mantra on Friday.
Whenever a Lion had the ball on offense, a SM East defender was always in his face, keeping him from entering the paint or even passing it around the arc.
For a team that had only played four games this season and hadn't played since Dec. 20, Davis was impressed with the Lancers -- even though he thought LHS was ready for the matchup.
"I think everyone in this league had their eyes on the Olathe schools and Free State, although I wouldn't say we overlooked them," Davis said.
Down only 26-21 at halftime -- thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Joe Crane -- LHS hung with the Lancers in the third quarter because neither team pushed the pace. SM East would burn minutes off with each possession, denying the Lions any chance to make a run.
When McAnderson hit a layup to cut it to 29-28 with 3:35 remaining in the quarter, the Lancers answered with a 10-point run, putting the game out of reach.
Most of it came from freshman forward J.D. Christie, who showed no fear matching up against the 7-foot Collier. He finished with a game-high 16 points, seven in the third quarter, going over Collier or finishing when the Lancers forced a turnover.
It was the kind of performance one usually doesn't see from a freshman.
"He was the one kid we targeted, the one kid that we needed to watch the most, and as a freshman, that's pretty rare," Davis said. "I was impressed."
LHS travels to Shawnee Mission South on Tuesday.