With about two minutes left in the Lawrence High boys basketball game Friday night, the Lions' student section chanted "Where's Your Robot?" to the Shawnee Mission East fans.
The Lawrence High Robotics Club's halftime display was about the only thing the LHS students could use to taunt the Lancers. SM East blasted Lawrence, 75-60.
With three starters who measured at least 6-foot-5, SM East attacked the inside, owned the offensive glass and maintained a lead of about seven points for the majority of the first half.
"Usually, we win the rebounding war, but this is one that we just weren't gonna win," LHS coach Chris Davis said. "And they were tall enough that they could see over our traps, making our traps pretty ineffective."
Lawrence did not fall too far behind, though, and made a push before halftime. Trailing 32-25 with 1:00 left in the half, Lions guard Brennan Bechard canned a three-pointer and was fouled. He completed the four-point play, and, on the Lions' next possession, he drained another trifecta to even the score with :33 left.
SM East hit two free throws to take a two-point advantage into the locker room, but LHS had the momentum.
"Brennan's four-point play got us pumped, and we went into the half really positive," junior guard Tyler Knight said.
But in the third quarter, SM East's athletic guard-forward combo of 6-2 junior Garrett Webb and 6-6 junior J.D. Christie took over. The two combined for 46 of East's 75 points and scored all but two of the team's 20 points in the third frame.
While most of Webb's 21 points came from back-door cuts and slashes to the hole, Christie's inside-outside abilities caused nearly impossible defensive matchups.
Still, LHS wouldn't go away, trailing 48-45 after the third quarter. But with 7:12 remaining in the game, the Lions' comeback hopes fell to pieces.
While driving to the basket, Christie bowled over Bechard and got away with a charge. Instead, on a third attempt at the shot, Lawrence's Tony Anderson was whistled for fouling Christie.
Davis erupted, earning a technical foul. Christie made three of his four free throws, and the Lancers scored on the inbounds. The five-point trip down the floor secured the Lions' sixth loss of the season.
However, Lawrence will have a chance to rebound tonight at Shawnee Mission North. After Friday's loss, the importance of this evening's makeup contest increases.
"I think it's definitely good for us," Bechard said of the quick turnaround. "If we can get a win, we get our confidence back up and finish this season with a little momentum."
SM East 57, Lawrence 42
It wasn't that Shawnee Mission East necessarily shut down LHS. East forward Jennifer Franklin did, though, scoring 30 of her team's 57 points. Franklin was responsible for 11 of her team's 19 field goals, and the team was 18-for-21 at the free-throw line. Megan Klingler led the Lions with 15 points, and Sydney Wilson added 12 off the bench on 5-of-8 shooting.