Despite shooting woes, Lawrence High girls win

Senior Haley Parker (25) tries to get around two players in second half girls action Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010 with Lawrence and Leavenworth. The Lions won 47-33.

How bad were the Lawrence High girls shooting Tuesday night?

So bad they seemingly couldn’t hit the Kansas River from the Massachusetts Street bridge.

But the Lions won … and won handily, tripping Leavenworth, 47-33, in Sunflower League basketball in the LHS gym.

“Our shots weren’t falling,” senior Jasmyn Turner said, “but we kept attacking the rim, and the ball just kind of came to us on defense.”

The Lions (8-11) converted only 30.6 percent of their shots and missed 14 of 29 free throws, yet the Pioneers (5-13) shot even worse (26.9 percent) and were guilty of 21 turnovers.

At the beginning of last week, Lawrence had an opportunity to reach the .500 mark, but suffered losses to Olathe North and Olathe Northwest and fell four games below the break-even level.

“We thought last week we were going in the right direction,” coach Nick Wood said. “We talked about facing adversity, and we did that by attacking and playing defense tonight.”

Echoed Turner: “Last week was rough, but now we have something to build on.”

In fact, if the Lions knock off Free State in their regular-season finale on Friday night, they’ll be assured of having another home game a week from today in the Class 6A sub-state.

Free State edged the Lions, 37-34, last December in the Firebirds’ gym. Lawrence, of course, would love to avenge that defeat.

“It’s our last opportunity to get better before the real season begins,” Wood said.

Notably, 10 Lions scored in Tuesday’s victory, led by Haley Parker’s 11 points.

“We just kept fighting and played as a team,” said Turner, who collected nine points. “We didn’t play individually, and that helped us.”

Lawrence’s (8-11) defense was particularly effective in the third quarter when it limited the Pioneers (5-13) to just two points. Leavenworth missed 11 of 12 shots in that period.