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High School Sports

High School Sports

FSHS boys team up to beat Leavenworth

January 15, 2014

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Box Score

Free State boys 69, Leavenworth 55

LEAVENWORTH (55)

Jeromie Simmons 3-8 2-2 11, Collin Anderson 2-7 1-1 5, Cameron Wiggins 9-19 10-14 31, Jacob Boyce 0-1 0-0 0, Jason Randall 2-7 4-4 8, Dominique Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Grant Lang 0-0 0-0 0, Sean Ellis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-42 17-21 55.

FREE STATE (69)

Khadre Lane 7-12 5-6 21, Keith Loneker 3-8 2-2 9, Cole Moreano 3-5 2-2 9, Blake Winslow 6-10 3-4 15, Reshawn Caro 2-4 0-0 6, Keegan McKinney 0-0 0-0 0, Weston Hack 3-5 0-0 5, Tristan Garber 0-0 0-0 0, Justin Narcomey 1-3 1-2 4, Innocent Anavberokhai 0-0 0-0, Shannon Cordes 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Keating 0-1 0-0 0 . Totals 25-48 14-17 69.

Leavenworth 13 23 13 7 — 55

Free State 21 15 19 14 — 69

Three-point goals: LHS 6-16 (Wiggins 3, Simmons 3). FS 7-14 (Caro 2, Lane 1, Loneker 1, Moreano 1, Hack 1, Narcomey 1). Turnovers: LHS 6, FS 10.

Free State’s Blake Winslow (11) fights for the ball against Leavenworth players in the first half on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, at FSHS. The Firebirds boys won, 69-55.

Free State’s Blake Winslow (11) fights for the ball against Leavenworth players in the first half on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, at FSHS. The Firebirds boys won, 69-55.

Free State High’s 69-55 boys basketball victory over Leavenworth on Tuesday night was a classic case of the strength of a team being greater than any one individual.

With Leavenworth’s Cameron Wiggins — no relation to another Mr. Wiggins in town — lighting up the scoreboard for 31 points and scoring the Pioneers’ first 16 points of the night, the Firebirds worked everyone on a deep and talented roster into the scoring column and defensive gameplan.

The strategy staked the Firebirds (5-4) to an early lead of 21-7 and a knockout run of 16-3 late after Leavenworth had trimmed the FSHS lead to 53-48 with 55 seconds to play in the third.

“He’s a special player,” FSHS coach Chuck Law said of Wiggins, a 6-foot-2 senior. “Top-five player in our league, without question. And, believe it or not, our gameplan was to slow him down.”

It didn’t work during the first half, as Wiggins exploded for 21 points and helped Leavenworth erase an early hole and tie the score at 36 by halftime. But in the second half, after throwing a switching, man-to-man defense at Wiggins for much of the first half, Free State turned to senior Blake Winslow to stop Wiggins.

“I only had one foul in the first half and we talked at halftime about me just manning him up,” said Winslow, who also chipped in 15 points. “My job was just to not let him catch as much as I could.”

It worked often and even when it didn’t, that whole team thing came into play, as Free State’s help defense made life much more difficult for Wiggins in the second half.

Never was that more evident than late in the third quarter, when Winslow forced a stop on one end and scored on the other end. Instead of Wiggins cutting the FSHS lead to three points or less, Winslow pushed it up to seven with a layup at the third-quarter buzzer.

“That was huge,” Law said. “There were a number of situations like that.”

Added Winslow: “That was a big momentum shifter. The whole bench exploded and I think we knew once we went up 10 that we had it.”

Khadre Lane’s 21 points led the Firebirds, who shot 52 percent from the floor, including 50 percent from three-point range. Free State had six players chip in with five points or more in its first Sunflower League victory of the season.

“Coach told us before the game that this wasn’t a must-win game but it was one we needed to win,” Winslow said.

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