High School Sports

High School Sports

Fight to the finish

Lions’ Ray makes winning shot in final seconds

Lawrence High’s Marcus Ray (5) goes up for a shot over Shawnee Mission East defender Kevin Hertel (12). Ray made the winning shot for the Lions in their 51-50 victory Tuesday at LHS.

Lawrence High’s Marcus Ray (5) goes up for a shot over Shawnee Mission East defender Kevin Hertel (12). Ray made the winning shot for the Lions in their 51-50 victory Tuesday at LHS.

February 10, 2010


Lions beat buzzer, Lancers

The Lawrence High boys basketball team hit a shot with two seconds remaining to come out on top against Shawnee Mission East Tuesday. LHS won 51-50. Enlarge video

Lawrence High School coach Mike Lewis attempts to motivate his team to make more baskets in the final few minutes of the game against Shawnee Mission East.

Lawrence High School coach Mike Lewis attempts to motivate his team to make more baskets in the final few minutes of the game against Shawnee Mission East.

When Marcus Ray touched the basketball on Lawrence High’s final possession on Tuesday, the game clock started to trickle down from nine seconds.

Luckily for the Lions and a raucous Jungle crowd, the senior guard needed only seven.

Ray quickly and precisely drove the length of the floor, dribbled past a final Shawnee Mission East defender and hung in mid-air to release a left-handed layup from the right side of the hoop. It banked off the glass and rattled home with two seconds left to give Lawrence a wild 51-50 victory over SM East.

“I was just like, OK, I have to get the ball up the court and see what’s open,” Ray said. “And then I drove and when I was in the air, I didn’t know what to do. I just shot it at the basket and it happened to fall in.”

The LHS home crowd was so filled with excitement that the students rushed the floor. Only problem was, two seconds still remained. After officials cleared the students from the floor, the Lions broke up SM East’s desperation, full-court pass to secure the victory.

So where did the game-winning layup rank in Ray’s memories of playing basketball?

“That was definitely No. 1,” Ray said, smiling.

The Lions trailed the Lancers for the majority of Tuesday’s battle, including by three after one quarter, seven at intermission, five after three quarters and nine with 5:35 remaining in the game.

That’s when Ray took over.

The 6-foot guard poured in 10 points in the final 3:47, mostly off slashing drives to the basket where a sense of urgency was glaringly noticeable. With 1:35 remaining, for instance, Ray got creative on a drive when he elevated for a shot and a Lancers’ defender lightly tipped the ball away. With continued momentum to the basket, Ray caught the ball in mid-air and banked in a bucket off the glass. SM East (3-10) simply could not stop Ray, who finished with a game-high 20 points.

“Ever since the fourth quarter started, we just kept giving the ball back to Marcus,” LHS sophomore guard K.J. Pritchard said. “We knew that no one on their team could guard Marcus at that point. He was pretty much unstoppable.”

The victory was sweet on the surface for an LHS team that improved to 4-10. But the Lions wanted this one for another reason. Last year at sub-state, the Lancers knocked the Lions out of the playoffs with a last-second bank shot from three-point land.

“The first thing I came in and said was revenge factor,” LHS coach Mike Lewis said. “Everybody had that little look in their eye and knew exactly what I was talking about. We’ve been needing one of these for a long time. To finish on top was awesome.”

It’s easy to see why Lewis was so relieved. Of Lawrence’s 10 losses this season, seven have been by 10 points or fewer. One loss came in double overtime. On Tuesday night, Ray wasn’t going to let the Lions lose again.

“The guys that played last year wanted to win this game really badly,” Ray said. “This was a game we were looking forward to. I told myself if there was any team that we were going to beat, this is the one I really wanted to beat because of last year and what happened to us.”

Pritchard added 15 points, while fellow sophomore Anthony Buffalomeat pitched in eight.

Lawrence will play host to Olathe East at 7 p.m. on Friday.


mom_of_three 8 years, 4 months ago

graf found every loose ball on the floor, getting 2nd and 3rd chance opportunities for her team. amazing shooter. kind of wonder why he didn't rotate more fresh legs on graf, so turner could be more effective on offense.

mommydaycare 8 years, 4 months ago

Great Game Marcus!!!! So very proud of you:) Dad and Marisa.

lion_at_heart 8 years, 4 months ago

mom of three, turner led the lions in scoring as it says right there with 13 points, sure they could have rotated more players to guard graf but turner seemed pretty effective on offense to me.

on the other hand, great job marcus congrats on the shot!

MIke Mallory 8 years, 4 months ago

Mom.... looked to me like Graf scored half as many points in the 2nd half (11 as opposed to 20) when Turner was guarding her... so that might be the reason.

mom_of_three 8 years, 4 months ago

Turner said herself she didn't have her legs under her as much for offense, because of all the defense she played on Graf.

mom_of_three 8 years, 4 months ago

And the team lost, so overall, the offense was not effective. But then again, the defense wasn't effective at times either. I heard comments about how there didn't seem to be any sparks on the floor.
This team still has a chance to do well, but it seems they are still looking for a formula....

Hop2It 8 years, 4 months ago

So what is the LHS girls team missing?

buddy2me 8 years, 4 months ago

Hop2It, there is talent on that team, but the coach does not know how to use it correctly. I was at the game last night and sat with a lot of LHS alumni, and they all said they same thing. The coach has the weirdest rotation we have ever seen. If the big girls make a mistake, they get pulled (one doesn't), and he doesn't let them correct it, he pulls them out. They have no time to get in a rythym. It's really sad, they have a lot of talent on the team and could do very well. For a first year coach I would think he would use that to his advantage.

mom_of_three 8 years, 4 months ago

If you take away Graf's 11 points in the 2nd half, SME still wins. There was decent defense on the rest of SME but some silly fouls, lack of rebounding, and missing shots that shouldn't have been missed...same old story. If the team that played Seaman showed up, well look out, but it didn't.
What's missing - depends what game you watch. I think they are missing a spark, unity, whatever you call it.... teamwork.

Hop2It 8 years, 4 months ago

I have heard teamwork before, but I haven't heard "underperforming" like I have heard regarding FSHS girls. I thought maybe they were missing tangible.

MIke Mallory 8 years, 4 months ago

I was at the game as well and thought that the girls played very well for 3 quarters. I would even venture to say that they played their best game of the season (that I have seen) against what I felt like was a good opponent. It's easy to look good against a lesser team but I thought for the first time this year I did actually see a little bit of spark/desire from them against a team that made them work. Looked to me like they ran out of gas in the 4th quarter.... maybe Mom was right and he needed to play a few more kids in a game that was as fast of a pace as that one was. Don't know but it looks to me like Coach has found a rotation that he likes and for 3 quarters it seemed to serve them very well. Guess the question is can he find the right combination for the girls to achieve success for an entire game. let's hope so!

fshsbird 8 years, 4 months ago

Lionbacker and Mom, you are both living in the past, yes there is some talent on this team, but there is no one on this team that wants to be a leader or go to person, you have your best inside scorer and rebounder beyond the 3 point line and I have yet to see a set play all year, in the few games I have attended. which is why they have the record they do. I bet you wish you had a kid like Kennedy that could come up and make a difference, just wait till Free State comes to the jungle, I predict a 15 point win and kennedy will have 18 including 5 three's.

mom_of_three 8 years, 4 months ago

i would agree with you for the most part lionbacker.
I think if he would have rotated more in the first half then maybe the gas would be there for the 4th quarter.
the same thing happened in the SMW game. They caught up and then, boom, out of gas, and let the opponent go on a run. He also had a little different rotation in the 2nd half that seemed to have its bright spots, too.

mom_of_three 8 years, 4 months ago

fshsbird - LHS and Free State games are one of a kind. Doesn't matter the records of either team - both come out to play. And go ahead, keep putting bulletin board material out there for LHS. That should be the spark to get them going.

mom_of_three 8 years, 4 months ago

And no, I would not wish to add any new younger players to the mix on a team still searching for an identity..

mom_of_three 8 years, 4 months ago

buddy2me.... yes, agree, agree, agree......

lion_at_heart 8 years, 4 months ago

fshsfirebird-- you are mistaken if you think freestate is going to win by 15. considering the firebirds can't score over 40 points a game, i find that hard to believe they will win by 15.

theguy10 8 years, 4 months ago

i think it is sad how they could not put the GAME WINNING SHOT in the highlight on the news. and lets quit talking basketball. both lhs and freestate are not very good this year.

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