Lawrence High's girls basketball squad was more than happy after rebounding Friday night from an opening-round loss at the Firebird Winter Classic at FSHS.
Forcing 20 turnovers, LHS pounded Olathe North, 45-24, to advance to today's fifth-place game against Topeka Hayden.
"I think yesterday really hurt us a little bit," Lions guard Drew Huff said of Thursday's loss to Blue Valley. "We wanted to come out and play our best and prove to everybody that we were better than we played yesterday."
The Lions held a 20-15 halftime lead. After O-North's Kim Maguire hit a 15-foot jumper to start the third quarter, Lawrence went on an 8-0 run to go up 28-17. Three of the four Lion hoops were created from pressure defense by the backcourt combo of Huff and Lacey Elmore.
"That's a difference-maker, any time you can create more possessions," LHS coach Kristin Mallory said. "I don't know how many steals we had, but it was a ton. Lacey and Drew did an excellent job up there. We knew they liked to go to their right, and we just took advantage of that."
After turning the ball over 23 times against Blue Valley, the Lions had just 10 Friday night. More importantly, Lawrence was able to turn those takeaways into fast-break points, which was a major contributor in the Lions' third-quarter stomp.
Huff, who led the Lions with 13 points, was complemented inside by forward Megan Klingler's 12 points. Klingler struggled from the floor for most of the game but found her groove for a short stretch during the Lions' third-quarter run, putting back a missed shot and hitting a turnaround jumper.
Mallory said she was happy her team was making the best of its trek through the losers bracket.
"We played with a lot more intensity, especially on the defensive end, and we controlled the tempo of the game," she said. "That's what we were talking about doing, and the girls did a good job of that."