Free State High boys basketball coach Chuck Law said he had a meeting with senior center Christian Ballard before Friday's game at Shawnee Mission South.
Apparently, Law wasn't surprised after Ballard scored 12 points - including a momentum-changing dunk near the end of the first half - and helped lead the Firebirds to a 43-34 victory.
"You could tell by the way he practiced yesterday (Thursday), and his pregame focus," Law said. "I thought he was going to play the best game he's ever played in a Free State uniform."
Statistically, Ballard didn't have his best game. But Friday night was the first time Ballard looked unstoppable in the post every time he caught the basketball. He was much more aggressive in calling for the ball.
"Before the game, coach Law told me I was going to have a career night," Ballard said. "I just sat over there in a corner and started thinking about everything I need to do. I really want to be a team leader and establish myself. Not just a vocal team leader, but as a player."
¢A bright future: The Lawrence High boys bowling team has displayed potential during 2007, but look out in three years.
Freshmen Ben Wyatt and Tanner Kilmer posted the team's two highest series, 626 and 556, respectively, during Thursday's home triangular at Royal Crest Lanes.
¢A winning formula: Free State High swimmer Chase Torgerson credited a good night's sleep, a hearty breakfast and intense focus for his Sunflower League-record-breaking performance in the 100-yard backstroke and his third-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle Saturday at the league meet at the Lawrence Indoor Aquatic Center.
"Those combination of things - and you swim fast," he said.
¢Numbers of note: The Lawrence High girls basketball team didn't show any effects of a long layoff in its lone game of the week Friday, jumping out to a 17-6 first-quarter lead on its way to a 67-49 victory against Olathe East. ... LHS senior Hannah Somers set a career high with 14 points during the Lions' victory. ... The Free State boys held Shawnee Mission East - ranked No. 2 in last week's Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Class 6A poll - to two total field goals in the fourth quarter and overtime in their 67-60 victory on Saturday.