Shawnee January had been cruel to Lawrence High senior Jake Mosiman. For some reason, he hadn’t shot the ball well since the Lions returned from their winter break. Three-pointers, his specialty, kept rimming out. He even clanked most of his free throws.
Consider the first-month slump over.
Mosiman drilled a cold-blooded three-pointer just before time expired Tuesday night at Shawnee Mission Northwest, giving the Lions’ boys basketball team a 55-54 win.
“I knew it was going in,” Mosiman said after the thrilling LHS victory. “I wanted that shot. I knew it was going in before I was gonna shoot it. I needed it to go in.”
Mosiman held his follow-through on the decisive three and looked up at the scoreboard to see the clock hit zeroes before his teammates mobbed him.
“I wanted that shot,” he repeated. “I wanted to redeem myself after the past two games, step up and make a play.”
The 6-foot shooting guard missed 13 of his 15 field-goal attempts in Lawrence’s previous two games (both losses) last weekend. Only one of his eight three-pointers fell in setbacks at Olathe Northwest and Rockhurst. Things didn’t start much better for Mosiman at SMNW, either. He missed his first five field goals and entered the second half scoreless.
But in the opening minute of the third quarter, Mosiman picked off a Cougars pass and took it down the floor for a layup, giving LHS (5-3) just its second lead of the game at 27-25.
“If your shot’s not falling in from far away, you’ve got to start inside,” Mosiman said. “I think that’s what helped it.”
Aided by 14-point nights from both Justin Roberts and Anthony Bonner, the Lions escaped with a win after their senior found his confidence. Mosiman scored all 11 of his points in the second half and hit three from downtown.
LHS got some help from the Cougars (3-4), too. SMNW missed three straight free throws in the final minute before senior guard Luke Fields, who scored eight of his game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter, hit his second try at the line with 11.7 seconds to go, giving the Cougars a 54-52 lead.
Following a Lions timeout, the Cougars had a foul to give and used it on Bonner at the top of the key with 4.9 seconds left. LHS coach Mike Lewis called another timeout and called the same sideline in-bound play with which Lawrence opened the second half. The first time, Bonner took the ball in for a layup. The second time around, Roberts hit Mosiman for a catch-and-shoot bomb from the right corner.
“He’s not gonna curl up and go hide,” Lewis said of Mosiman overcoming his recent struggles to deliver in the clutch. “He stepped up and hit a shot and he’s the guy that needs to hit that shot for us.”
SMNW had built a 53-48 lead with just more than two minutes left before LHS came back. Bonner drove hard to the lane and got to the foul line, where he sank two free throws (he went 7-for-7 on the night) with 1:45 left.
Then, on defense, Mosiman’s pressure up top helped force an over-and-back violation against the Cougars. Roberts followed that with a layup at the 1:02 mark, cutting the SMNW lead to 53-52.
The Lions sent Cougars junior Andrew Medis to the foul line with 38 seconds remaining and he missed both of his free throws.
Though junior Connor Henrichs (nine points) lost the ball out of bounds on a drive with 20 seconds left, he made sure to foul Fields in the backcourt as soon as he could when SMNW got the ball inbounds and that left enough time for Lawrence to win after Fields misfired on one of his tries.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Lewis said after LHS found a way to win, “because we had some points there in the fourth quarter where we missed layups and missed free throws and had a chance to get that two- or three-point lead and tried to get a little bit of comfort and we couldn’t get it done.”
Lawrence plays host to Olathe South (No. 2 in Class 6A) on Friday.