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Archive for Saturday, March 8, 2008

Girls advance to finals with ease

Bottom row, from left, Lawrence High School seniors Kelly Renfro, Kim McDonald and Kaylen Fleming root for the Lions with other high school fans Friday during the LHS girls basketball team's 62-51 semi-final state victory against Olathe South High School in Emporia. The LHS girls basketball team will play in the championship game at 4 p.m. today. The LHS boys team also won, defeating Wichita Heights High School 61-58, and will play in the state championship game at 6:15 p.m. today.

Bottom row, from left, Lawrence High School seniors Kelly Renfro, Kim McDonald and Kaylen Fleming root for the Lions with other high school fans Friday during the LHS girls basketball team's 62-51 semi-final state victory against Olathe South High School in Emporia. The LHS girls basketball team will play in the championship game at 4 p.m. today. The LHS boys team also won, defeating Wichita Heights High School 61-58, and will play in the state championship game at 6:15 p.m. today.

March 8, 2008

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LHS girls on their way to the top

This afternoon in the semis of the state championship, the Lady Lions knocked off the Olathe South Falcons. Kevin Romary has more. Enlarge video

One more to go

The Lawrence High girls are only one win away from a state championship. Enlarge video

— Well, that was easy.

Lawrence High's girls basketball team was certain it would be forced into a rough-and-tumble, scrap-to-the-end struggle against third-seeded Olathe South Friday afternoon in the Class 6A state tournament semifinals.

Instead, all it got from the Falcons was a whimper and a white flag as No. 7 Lawrence never trailed in a 62-51 victory.

The relative casualness with which the Lions advanced to today's state championship was baffling to everyone. This was an Olathe South team that was the defending state runner-up and entered the semis on a 14-game winning streak.

"I thought it was going to be a hard game," LHS guard Taylor Bird said. "It was not at all what I thought."

Lions coach Kristin Mallory said the postgame mood reflected that sentiment.

"You're playing in the state championship, you'd think they'd be happier," Mallory said. "They're just real calm. I don't know if that's a businesslike attitude or the excitement wasn't there because we had the lead the whole game."

Yes, the Lions are that good right now.

Lawrence began the game with 13 consecutive points behind two three-pointers from sophomore Cassie Potter and one from senior Danielle Bird. When Taylor Bird's spin-move layup fell through the hoop, LHS held a 15-4 lead at quarter's end.

And Lawrence was just as solid defensively, coming out in a full-court press that flustered even the veteran players on Olathe South's team. Three times in the first quarter alone, the Falcons threw the ball to nobody out of bounds.

"I thought it definitely got us moving, and (Olathe South) played a little nervous to start," Mallory said of her team's defensive pressure. "We certainly took advantage of that by scoring a few buckets early.

"You've got to love the way we started the game."

In the first half, LHS kept the lead above single digits for all but a few minutes. Potter's third three-pointer of the first half gave the Lions their biggest lead in the first two quarters at 18-6.

The closest Olathe South got in the second half was six points when Abbey Marra's layup cut the deficit to 33-27. But both Taylor and Danielle Bird scored buckets - as they did for much of the night - to push the margin back into double figures.

Danielle Bird was particularly potent from the field, scoring 20 points.

"Danielle was crazy on the shots," forward Tania Jackson said. "I don't even remember her missing."

She didn't miss much, and neither did the rest of the Lions, who finished the game 19-for-32 from the field (59.4 percent).

Jackson added a double-double for LHS with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Taylor Bird scored 13 points, and Potter chipped in 11.

Jadhken Kerr led the Falcons with 20 points.

Olathe South finished the season 21-3, and its only two losses to teams in the state of Kansas came at the hands of Lawrence.

Danielle Bird said one motivating factor in her team's performance was avoiding playing in the third-place game when White Auditorium would be all but empty.

"We came this far. Why lose now?" she said. "We wanted to play in the championship."

Lawrence (20-4) gets that chance against No. 4 Goddard (22-2) at 4 p.m. today. LHS will be looking to capture its first state title in 16 years.

Comments

lawrencelifer 6 years, 1 month ago

Funny thing . . . it must take awhile for Breaking News to break onto the LJW site. LHS Girls Win State is now on the Breaking News at the top of the web site, saying that it was posted 47 minutes ago . . . . when it wasn't on there 5 minutes ago. Hmmmmmmmmm.

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lawrencelifer 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes, pretty bad that I had to go to the WIBW-13 site in Topeka to find out that the Lawrence girls had won the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP . . . hometown newspaper nothing. LJWorld seems to close down on the weekends, sometimes, except for KU sports.

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mom_of_three 6 years, 1 month ago

I found out from the WichitaEagle blog, and the kids who are at the game....yeah, kind of thought our paper would have it ran by now.

yes, the next couple of years will be great and interesting to watch with our great guards. hopefully, we will continue to have talent to fill the shoes when the great seniors graduate.

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WilburM 6 years, 1 month ago

Mom of three: Great job -- kinda pathetic that we have to find out about the result from a blog -- still, great trip, and more to come with great young talent!!

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mom_of_three 6 years, 1 month ago

YEEHHAAWW!!! girls won!! girls won!!

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mom_of_three 6 years, 1 month ago

I heard the Lions fought back in the 4th, but haven't heard a score lately. Any updates, anyone?

Go Girls!

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mom_of_three 6 years, 1 month ago

good luck, lady lions! don't under estimate goddard, as they are a good team. But if lawrence plays together, then they are unstoppable.

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JHawker 6 years, 1 month ago

Take home the State Title Lady Lions!! : - )

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Bob Forer 6 years, 1 month ago

Great going ladies. Keep it up in the finals.

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sundancewierdo 6 years, 1 month ago

go lions!!! good for you girls, good luck today.

...and you too boys, well done.

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Lilfish338 6 years, 1 month ago

I watched Goddard play yesterday, and they fall apart easily. When the Lady Lions stay hot, they can dominate them easily!!!! GOOOO LIOOONS!

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ChristmasCarol 6 years, 1 month ago

Great let's filet some fish and put them on the fire.

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