LHS girls rout Wyandotte, 69-15
The defensive prowess of the Lawrence High girls basketball team was on full display during its dominating 69-15 win over Wyandotte on Wednesday night.
Top-seeded LHS (17-4) forced 23 turnovers and only allowed eighth-seeded Wyandotte to attempt 32 shots in the game. Meanwhile, LHS more than doubled Wyandotte’s shots attempts with 66.
The Lions clinched their third consecutive sub-state championship appearance with their win at home.
“Just playing them before, it was kind of the same result,” junior E’lease Stafford said. “We knew if we played a little harder we could cause turnovers and get good shots.”
The Lions used their suffocating defense to put the game away early. They forced five turnovers in the first quarter and led 9-0 after two 3-pointers from senior Olivia Lemus and another from senior Skylar Drum.
But the Lions didn’t stop there. They continued to play disruptive defense got dominated in transition on offense. They scored the next 26 points in the game to take a 35-0 lead, and the Bulldogs didn’t score until the last minute of the first half. Stafford led the Lions with nine points in the first half, but she didn’t play in the second half.
Although coach Jeff Dickson was pleased the team’s play in the first two quarters, he was thrilled with the way the Lions continued to play hard in the second half even though the game was decided.
“Our whole season and our whole program is focused on what we do, not who we play,” Dickson said. “I know when a game gets out of hand teams tend to slip, but that’s why I feel pretty good because I don’t think we did that much.”
With their starters resting in the second half, junior Tyrin Cosey led the Lions with 11 of her game-high 13 points in the second half, and they continued their defensive onslaught by forcing the Bulldogs to commit 11 turnovers in the third quarter.
After a routine win, the Lions will now turn their attention to the sub-state championship game, where they’ve come up short each of the past two seasons.
“We’ve been knocking on that door now for three years in a row,” Dickson said. “I think the upperclassmen are ready to break through that door and move on to the next round.”
LHS will face Shawnee Mission South (6-15) on Saturday (6 p.m, at LHS) as it looks to make its first state tournament appearance since 2008.
Stafford said the Lions have been motivated by last year’s loss in the sub-state championship all season, though she missed last year’s postseason with a torn ligament in her knee.
“We’re definitely going to bring a lot more energy and effort,” Stafford said. “We need to come out strong in the first half and stay together when the other team goes on a run. We’re going to come together as a team and not let down.”
Rebecca Jackson 0-3 0-2 0, Monique Hunt 6-15 0-2 12, Tiesha Bradley 0-3 0-2 0, Ceanna Kirby 0-6 0-0 0, Ariana Smith 3. Totals: 7-32 1-8 15.
Hannah Stewart 1-1 0-0 3, Olivia Lemus 3-7 0-0 8, Skylar Drum 1-3 0-0 3, Leslie Ostronic 1-3 0-0 2, Sammy Williams 1-3 0-0 2, Kiikto Thomas 5-10 0-0 12, Tyrin Cosey 6-12 1-2 13, Tamo Thomas 3-7 0-0 7, E’lease Stafford 4-11 0-0 9, Chisom Ajekwu 2-3 0-0 4. Totals: 29-66 3-4 69.
Wyandotte 0 2 8 5 — 15
Lawrence 17 18 27 7 — 69
3-point goals: Wyandotte 0-8; Lawrence 8-23 (Lemus 2, Kiikto Thomas 2, Stewart, Drum, Tamo Thomas, Stafford). Turnovers: Wyandotte 23, Lawrence 2.