Olathe A miserable first-half shooting slump put Lawrence High’s girls basketball team in an inescapable hole Friday night at Olathe East.
Lions coach Nick Wood wasn’t disappointed with the shots his team was getting early on, but so many quality looks were off the mark that the Hawks had little trouble in a 56-29 rout of LHS.
Wood said Lawrence, which lost its fifth straight game, didn’t stand much of a chance after going 3-for-23 from the floor in the first two quarters.
“We have to find a way to make some of those so we can stay in the game,” Wood said.
After connecting on just two of their 13 shots in the first quarter — Monica Howard hit a jumper with 4:40 left and Anna Wright scored with an open shot off an in-bound play with 30 seconds left — the Lions (6-12) had even more trouble finding baskets in the second quarter.
LHS went 1-for-10 in the second. Freshman sub Jolana Shield converted a reverse layup along the baseline with 4:43 to play in the first half. But that was the only second-quarter field goal Lawrence managed against 10th-ranked O-East (12-6). The Lions had just three more points the rest of the quarter, with two free throws from Bri Anderson and one from Howard, and trailed 27-12 at halftime.
The third quarter began with some promise for the Lions, as Wright hit a three-pointer in transition, Howard scored a pair of baskets in the paint, and Marissa Pope drove the ball strong to the lane for a lay-up that cut the O-East lead to 32-21 with 3:07 to play in the quarter. But the Lions didn’t hit another shot — or even score another point — until Wright made a three-pointer with just more than four minutes left in the fourth. The basket put an end to a 16-0 Hawks run.
“All of a sudden we go eight minutes without scoring,” Wood lamented. “We have to find a way not only to have valuable possessions, but then find a way to finish those valuable possessions.”
Even when Lawrence got something positive going on offense in the third, Hawks senior forward D’Shawna Lee took over on the opposite end of the court, scoring nine of her 11 points.
“Once we kind of made it a game, she kind of stepped up and took over,” Wood said. “And that’s what we need one of our girls to do — or all of our girls. We’ve got to get hungry at that moment.”
O-East senior guard Alyssa Palmer made all seven of her shots, to score a game-high 17 points.
Wright led LHS with eight points, and Howard scored seven. Kionna Coleman led the Lions with seven boards.
At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Lawrence will play at Shawnee Mission North.