Archive for Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mojo’ rising for LHS

February 14, 2007


After looking sluggish during back-to-back losses, Lawrence High girls basketball coach Kristin Mallory said her Lions had "lost some of their mojo."

During Tuesday night's emphatic 61-24 home victory against Olathe North, LHS regained some of that momentum.

"We definitely got our groove back," Danielle Bird said.

LHS (11-6), featuring more talented players than North (1-15), forced 22 turnovers, which allowed the Lions to run their high-tempo offense to their liking.

"We did a better job pressuring the ball and getting in some passing lanes," Mallory said.

Mallory emphasized a faster pace during an intense week of practice. And the Lions used a trapping, pressure defense and transition offense to start the game with an 11-0 run and outscore East 22-3 in the third quarter.

Sophomore Taylor Bird scored 19, and senior Katelyn Hobbs posted 10. Danielle Bird, who had struggled of late, hit three three-pointers en route to 17 points. Her points came in the flow of the game, and she effectively squared her feet before each shot.

"I was very pleased with Dan," Mallory said. "In the first half, she was all we had going."

Despite the margin of victory, Mallory lamented her team's offensive play. In a very sloppy game, both teams combined for six turnovers in the opening two minutes. The Lions also failed to put in several balls around the hoop.

"We still didn't play as well as we could offensively," Mallory said. "We weren't in the flow for some reason. In the first half, we missed so many easy baskets."

With school canceled because of inclement weather, the "Jungle" crowd was sparse and much quieter than usual. The Lions, though, did have one notable fan. Kansas University women's basketball coach attended the game to support her friend, Mallory. And the KU coach saw LHS capture a much-needed win.

"(I) definitely feel a lot better than after those two losses," Danielle Bird said.

Lawrence High boys 45, Olathe North boys 40

With school canceled because of snow, some of the LHS players did not know the status of Tuesday's game until the afternoon. Combine that uncertainty with the Lions' coming off back-to-back impressive wins and facing a challenging opponent on Friday, and it equaled a sluggish performance.

"We were flat," said Nathan Padia, who scored 11 points.

LHS coach Chris Davis, however, praised the win, considering the circumstances of the game and his team's ability to limit Olathe North to just 10 points in each quarter.

"We played pretty well," he said. "We didn't shoot as well as I'd like to see us shoot, but defensively we made it difficult on them."

Most impressively LHS (12-5) controlled the tempo against an athletic North team, which likes to push the ball.

"We needed to kind of slow it down," Padia said, "and try and run our game and get them out of their rhythm."

LHS forced North (8-8) into a slow-down game, but the Eagles received a strong performance from DeMarkis Dobbins, who scored a game-high 23 points, including five three-point shots.

"He was real quick," Padia said. "He was just finding the open holes, and he was hitting shots."

Dobbins closed the third quarter with a buzzer-beating three-point shot to tie the game at 30. The Lions, however, pulled away in the fourth quarter.

With two minutes left, Padia scored on an old-fashioned three-pint play to give the Lions a comfortable 43-36 margin.

"It was a momentum changer," Padia said. "There were two men down low. I just tried to drive and draw the foul."

The Lions did not resemble the squad, which drove past Sunflower League powers Shawnee Mission West and Olathe South during last Friday and Saturday night, respectively, but gained an important win before visiting Leavenworth, the seventh-ranked team in the KBCA rankings, Friday.

"There are a lot of reasons why we could've come out and not taken care of business," Davis said. "The fact we won is a big deal. I'm really happy with that."


mygoodness07 11 years, 1 month ago

She didn't come to support her "friend". She came to scout a couple of the players. Good god, get it right.

mom_of_three 11 years, 1 month ago

The other team was 1-15. So yes, you should win by a large margin. It was nice another player was mentioned besides the sisters.

a_fan 11 years, 1 month ago

Well actually....If I am not mistaken, I believe Coach Mallory's husband was sitting with Bonnie most of the game. Wouldn't that show that they might be "friends?" I think it is great that she was there to support a Lawrence team....and a friend!

FYI - - You recruit a scout a team!

mygoodness07 11 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like a little jealousy. Give credit where credit is due. She was scouting.

mygoodness07 11 years, 1 month ago

She didn't come to recruit anyone, yet.

mythreegirls 11 years, 1 month ago

Those are my daughters and I am sorry if it bothers you that they are mentioned in the paper so much. They have worked very hard for a long time and have waited a long time to play together. They talk about the other girls that contribute, too. It's not always about both of them. Sometimes it is just one of them. The point is, they can't control who the paper wants to write about anymore than you can. It's sad how jealous people can get.

mom_of_three 11 years, 1 month ago

It's not jealousy, believe me. I feel sorry for the other players who work hard and contribute and are not mentioned at all. Then there are the ones who barely get mentioned. If you look at the Free State basketball articles, they mention all the players that contribute. There are pictures of different members of the team.
I think the LJW has been incredibly one sided when it comes to the LHS girls basketball team coverage.
My student athlete is in junior high, and I hope that all the team members are mentioned in articles when she gets to high school in a few years.

mythreegirls 11 years, 1 month ago

You are going to be in for a rude awakening. They are not going to talk about every girl on the team. For one, not every girl on the team plays. The articles on Free State primarily talk about three girls. I don't agree that LHS team coverage is so one sided. They talk about the girls who happen to have a good game on that particular night. My daughter Taylor is a key player. She is the point guard and she plays very hard. I am not going to apologize for the coverage she gets. The other girls on the team respect her as she respects them. In the real world they would talk about every girl on the team, unfortunately life isn't fair.

LHS_PARENT 11 years, 1 month ago

I think there is a lot of jelousy here. Parents shouldn't be mad that all the kids don't get mentioned in the paper. I also feel that LJWORLD is not writing just one sided articles about LHS. Look at the newspaper during football season. The Murphy twins (that play for for Free-State) were mentioned all the time. Maybe if other kids would put the amount of time and effort over the years into there game as the Bird girls have then they might aquire the skills and ability to have great games and be mentioned also. If they wrote about every kid, the article would be a page long. That's why they give highlights and talk about key players in the game. I'm sure that when other kids have good games that they will get mentioned also.

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