The Free State High girls basketball team’s 72-26 victory against Lansing was one of those rare instances where the score did tell the whole story.
From tipoff, the Firebirds went right to work with a 12-2 run to start the game, establishing the up-tempo game they are used to playing. In its season-opening 39-30 victory against Topeka Seaman, FSHS proved that it can play slow, tight games, but the past two contests have been the opposite.
“If teams are going to slow us down, we can play in the half court if necessary,” coach Bryan Duncan said. “We certainly prefer to run.”
The Firebirds ran free and without consequence against the Lions (0-4). For the game, Free State (3-0) only turned the ball over seven times. Duncan said he wasn’t paying attention to how players scored, but more to how well they passed and took care of the ball.
But three players did score in double figures for FSHS: junior Kennedy Kirkpatrick led the game with 23, junior Chelsea Casady had 14, and sophomore Scout Wiebe added 10 off the bench.
This game makes back-to-back 70-point scoring performances for the Firebirds, something the team didn’t expect to do coming into the season.
Senior Jackie Garcia, who pitched in seven points, said running the court is easier when the defense creates more offense. The past few games have been superb examples.
“We’re definitely on a high right now,” Garcia said.
The Firebirds went into halftime with a 35-10 lead and managed to more than double their score in the second half, so there were no lulls on offense. FSHS just ran wild.
“When teams let us do that,” Duncan said, “I think we can have a lot of success.”