LHS boys vs. Olathe South
Pictures from the Lions game against Olathe South on January 15, 2010.
LHS girls vs. Olathe South
Pictures from the Lady Lions' game against Olathe South on January 15, 2010.
When the talented teams show up, so do Lawrence High’s boys basketball players.
Unfortunately for the Lions, however, they can’t quite reach the top rung.
Lawrence trailed once-beaten Olathe South by just four points with 1:23 remaining Friday night, but ran out of gas and fell, 55-47, in the LHS gym.
“I’m proud of the way we step up and play good teams,” Lions coach Mike Lewis said. “We’ve played three good teams and played them tough.”
Lewis was also referring to a three-point loss to Kansas City Sumner and a four-point loss to Shawnee Mission Northwest, the former in the Blue Valley Shootout and the latter on the road.
“I’m looking forward to February,” Lewis said. “These challenges are going to make us better.”
Unbeaten Leavenworth had handed O-South its first defeat on Tuesday night, and the Falcons may have figured they would have a breather in the Lions (1-7). However, after bolting to a seemingly safe 10-point lead late in the third quarter, O-South went stale, and the Lions’ Marcus Ray caught fire.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Ray brought the Lions within five at the end of the quarter. Then a driving layup by the 6-foot senior southpaw cut the margin to three (39-36) early in the fourth quarter.
“Ray really stepped up and said, ‘I want to put this team on my shoulders,’” Lewis said. “That’s the kind of senior leadership we really need.”
Ray scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in the last 10 minutes.
“I was just going to try to give my all,” Ray said of his late surge, “and see if we could pull it out.”
In the waning seconds, however, he missed three shots, including a desperation three-pointer, and admitted he had grown a tad weary.
“I was gassed a little bit,” Ray said, “but I was trying to keep my composure.”
Lawrence shot a sparkling 50 percent (19 of 38), but the potent Falcons made 22 of 42 shots for 53.4 percent.
“That’s by far the best team we’ve played,” Lewis said. “They’re long, and they’re very athletic.”
Next for the Lions will be a meeting with Denver Lincoln at 4:45 p.m. Thursday at the Topeka Invitational in the Topeka West gym.
O-South girls 55, Lawrence 37
Unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in at least one Class 6A poll, the Falcons led by as many as 19 points and cruised past the cold-shooting Lions.
Lawrence made only 14 of 41 shots (34.1 percent) and was punished inside by O-South’s Kelsey Balcom and Brooke Rinehart who scored 19 and 18 points, respectively.
“When we gave them second chances, they scored every time, it seemed like,” Lawrence coach Nick Wood said.
Lawrence made a mini-run, closing within 11 points at the end of the third quarter, but the Lions faded down the stretch.
“I was actually pretty impressed with how we played,” said senior guard Haley Parker, who led the Lions with a dozen points, “but we lacked the ability to rebound with them.”
Junior guard Natalie Knight, who has made an oral commitment to Kansas University, scored six points for the Falcons (8-0).
The Lions (2-6) will be idle until Jan. 28.