High School Sports

High School Sports

Free State girls win ugly one with LHS

Free State's Wren Wiebe catches a pass under pressure from Lawrence's Cassie Potter during the game on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009.

Free State's Wren Wiebe catches a pass under pressure from Lawrence's Cassie Potter during the game on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009.

December 20, 2009


Since it was a nail-biter, no one asked for their money back.

At the same time, however, no one suggested placing the game tape in a time capsule.

Rocks and bricks were as plentiful as fouls as Free State outlasted Lawrence, 37-34, in city girls high school basketball Saturday night in the Firebirds’ gym.

“I’m not sure how to describe it,” Free State coach Bryan Duncan said. “I’m just glad our kids stayed calm.”

This one was deadlocked at 33 with :29 left after a basket by the Lions’ Haley Parker. But the tie didn’t last long.

Free State’s Chantay Caron raced down the court for what appeared to be an easy layup. But Caron missed the gimme — one of many by both teams. Moments later, however, the 5-foot-11 senior horsed the ball back in.

“We celebrated a little bit too much and didn’t get back on defense,” the Lions’ Jasmyn Turner said of Caron’s go-ahead stick-back.

Still, Lawrence had plenty of time to tie. But when Parker’s close-in shot went awry, Free State’s Kylee Loneker rebounded and was fouled.

With :04.8 on the clock, Loneker, a 5-5 soph, nailed both charities to give the Firebirds an insurmountable 37-33 advantage.

Rachel Kelly hit a meaningless charity for the Lions with :00.5 showing to wrap up the scoring.

Free State won despite failing to record a field goal in either the first or third quarters. Lawrence couldn’t take advantage, however.

“We had a chance in the third quarter to take control,” Lions’ coach Nick Wood said. “They scored just one point, but we had just three, and that wasn’t enough.”

Free State’s only point in that third-quarter brick bath was a free throw by Caron.

Rachel Kelly accounted for the Lions’ three points by hitting from beyond the arc. The Lions misfired on their other 13 shots during those stultifying eight minutes.

Can a basketball team win when it makes only eight field goals? Free State did because the Firebirds went to the line 32 times and made 20.

In fact, Free State scored three more points at the foul stripe than it did from the field.

“It’s easy to score from the line,” Lions’ coach Wood said. “If the officials are calling it tight, we have to adjust.”

Lawrence finished with two more field goals than Free State — including three more than the Firebirds from beyond the arc — but shot 14 fewer charities, making 10 of 18.

Caron led the Firebirds with 13 points, and 6-5 Ashli Hill wound up with nine before fouling out with three minutes left. Both drained seven free throws.

Parker and Jordyn Tolefree scored 10 points apiece for the Lions.

Free State has won four of its five December games, but hasn’t been that impressive, at least not on offense.

“We’re 4-1,” Duncan said, “and we’ve got to get better.”

Lawrence has won only once in six starts, mainly because of poor shooting. The Lions shot a frigid 21.7 percent (10 of 46) Saturday night.

“We’ve had trouble scoring all year,” Wood said. “When we have open shots, we have to hit them.”

Both teams now will break for the holidays. Free State will resume on Jan. 5 at Platte County, Mo. Lawrence’s next game will be Jan. 8 at Olathe North.


mom_of_three 8 years, 5 months ago

If you were at the game, Loneker was not fouled....it was a tie up called by the ref behind the players.

mom_of_three 8 years, 5 months ago

And I believe it was after a free throw that missed....

Clickker 8 years, 5 months ago

It's too bad that the refs would have to decide the game ( i wasnt there, but from what you are saying) it sux.

hail2oldku 8 years, 5 months ago

Fouled or tie-up doesn't really matter since the possession arrow was pointing to Free State (LHS would have had to foul anyway after additional time ran off the clock if they couldn't steal the inbounds pass). The guy that made the foul call was the one under the basket, the two on the perimeter had different angles. At any rate, it wasn't this one call that made the difference in the game. The fact they were only able to score 12 points in the second half was.

buddy2me 8 years, 5 months ago

As a Lawrence High basketball fan, it sucks to watch both boys and girls teams struggle. There is so much talent on both teams. I didn't get to watch the girls game, but I have this year, and you can tell there is a lot of confusion in the girls. The offense is not good, they just stand around. I know 4 of the girls very well, and they are loosing their confidence very quickly. Coach Wood, use the girls and the experience you have, and the wins will start to come. Have confidence in your team.

mom_of_three 8 years, 5 months ago

Hail, it does matter if it was reported incorrectly (which is was), and I think the arrow was going to LHS, (at least it was when I looked).

mom_of_three 8 years, 5 months ago

The radio announcers were all over the refs on that last call, and a few others throughout the game. And LHS made a few buckets that were fouls were called on the floor, and the buckets waived off so two points instead of three. And yes, I would agree with Buddy that the LHS girls are not playing together. At times, there are 5 individuals on the floor instead of a team. Two games in a row the offensive wasn't there, because the main players were missing their shots and are still playing major minutes. Maybe the girls are too tired playing defense and can't make their offense. Put in more defensive players. Something has got to change.

hail2oldku 8 years, 5 months ago

Sorry mom, but I commented about the foul actually helping LHS right after the call because of the possession arrow. I will agree that the game was poorly officiated, but they were equally awful on both ends of the floor.

As far as the girls being too tired on offense because they have to play defense, that's the game of basketball. You have to play both ends of the court. You really only have a couple of options - play a zone defense and hope you don't get torched from outside, or get in better basketball shape which means running more sprints and slides at practice.

I don't have a dog in the hunt, I just like watching high school sports so I'm just calling it like I see it.

mom_of_three 8 years, 5 months ago

I was commenting that the article was wrong. It was a rebound after a missed free throw, and it was a jump ball called wrong.... And if you have watched the girls play, you will know what i mean. He plays girls because of what they can do on offense, and so far, the defense hasn't suffered. BUT there are girls who are better on defense than offense, and vice versa. Time to find a balance. For example, if he had a different defender on Chantay on Saturday night, then Jordyn Tolefree wouldn't have gotten fouls, would have been in the game, and would have been able to score. INstead, he had her guarding Chantay, and getting fouls. Not that she isn't a good defender, but there were girls who did just as well or better. So put in a defender, who may not be the best offensive weapon to do the hard defensive work and it keeps your offensive weapon in the game.
The past two games, the offense as struggled, but he hasn't done anything to change it up. They don't play together AT ALL, and there are a couple who refuse to pass the ball. Six games in and nothing has improved or changed.

buddy2me 8 years, 5 months ago

WOW momofthree....not a good thing to air your dirty laundry in print! I'm just glad I don't have a kid on the team where you are naming names. I would be PO'd!

MIke Mallory 8 years, 4 months ago

ya, these are high school students, calling out by name just isnt right

mom_of_three 8 years ago

jordyn did get fouls guarding chantay when she was hurt. Why put a hurt player on Chantay? Why take the chance and put your best three point shooter playing defense on someone who is hard to guard, and then take your three point shoooter out of the game. I named Jordyn as an example, and if you read the post, it wasn't that she did anything wrong. But wood should have changed it up. He made the same mistakes all season long, (not changing it up, letting girls get exhausted) and this is one of many games which got away from the team due to his leadership

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