Lawrence High junior Clarence King only needed two words to summarize how he felt after the LHS boys basketball team's 77-51 win over Shawnee Mission Northwest on Tuesday.
"I'm back," King said.
King has been back from a knee injury that sidelined him for the first semester, but he's finally starting to feel like himself. The 6-foot-2 guard got to the rim at will and had the hot hand from 3-point range, as he finished with a game-high 23 points. Senior Anthony Selden and junior Trey Quartlebaum joined King in double figures with 15 and 11 points, respectively.
"We're able to get some momentum shots and keep the momentum going. I think we're sharing the ball well," LHS coach Mike Lewis said. "I think our pace on offense has been pretty good in terms of being aggressive and balancing that with backing the ball and running good sets and good offense. I like our balance where we're at offensively."
Lawrence High boys basketball vs. SMNW
Clarence King and Anthony Selden combined for 40 points in the Lawrence High boys basketball team's 77-51 win over Shawnee Mission Northwest on Tuesday at LHS.
The Lions nearly had five players reach double figures, as Savonni Shazor and Van Dave Jacob added nine and eight points, respectively. Shazor provided the spark for LHS in the opening minutes by scoring the Lions' first seven points. Six different Lions scored in the first quarter to build a 21-12 lead.
"We love when Savonni tends to turn up more," King said. "When you turn up more, that tends to make everyone else do better and come out with strong energy. As long as he comes out with strong energy, everyone else will their strong energy."
King didn't get on the board until the final minute of the first quarter after coming off the bench. It didn't take long for the LHS junior to get rolling, though. King knocked down two free throws and the drained back-to-back 3-pointers to close the first half on a personal 8-0 run. While King is starting to feel at full strength, Lewis still believes he has another gear he can reach.
"It's great to see him starting to feel better. He's still not 100 percent and he's working at it each week," Lewis said. "As he starts to see the ball go through the net and starts to get his confidence and his comfort level back, then it definitely helps us."
The Lions (9-8) blitzed the Cougars (8-9) with another 8-0 run to begin the third quarter behind two points apiece from Shazor, Selden, King and Jacob. The Cougars trimmed the deficit to 15 points midway through the fourth, but the Lions quickly dashed their hopes of a miraculous comeback by closing the game on a 12-1 run.
In the Lions' back-to-back wins over SM West and SM Northwest, they've scored 70-plus points for the first time since the middle of January.
"I think just keeping it simple for our guys and staying positive and just looking at each game as a different battle and just refocusing each game," Lewis said. "I really think the positive vibe that we can provide our guys — not only as coaches, but also as teammates — will help us stay hopefully on this little run here."
Lewis' squad will go for its third straight victory at 7 p.m. Friday at SM South (9-8).
"Just play as a team," said King of what the Lions will need to do going forward. "Don't be selfish when it's not time to be selfish. We've just got to keep going."
SM NORTHWEST (51)
Verlee McCullough 4-8 3-6 11, Logan Skeens 0-0 1-2 1, C.C. Ghilardi 5-13 2-2 13, Evan Higgins 3-6 0-0 6, Luke Towler 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Brunner 0-1 0-0 0, Dale Talley III 5-15 4-4 15, George Specht 2-3 0-0 5, Ty Lindenman 0-0 0-0 0, Ty Black 0-0 0-0 0, Peyton Carder 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-46 10-14 51.
Anthony Selden 7-10 3-4 17, Brett Chapple 0-0 2-2 2, Trey Quartlebaum 5-8 0-0 11, Jake Rajewski 2-2 0-1 5, Savonni Shazor 3-5 2-4 9, Clarence King 9-10 3-4 23, Van Dave Jacob 4-7 0-0 8, Steven Strickland 0-0 0-0 0, Peyton Mallory 0-1 0-0 0, Valdez White 0-0 0-0 0, Eric Galbreath 0-0 0-0 0, Garrett Hart 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 31-45 10-15 77.
SM Northwest 12 9 14 16 — 51
Lawrence 21 19 14 23 — 77
3-point goals: SM Northwest 3-17 (Talley, Ghilardi, Specht); Lawrence 5-11 (King 2, Shazor, Quartlebaum, Rajewski). Fouled out: None. Turnovers: SM Northwest 13, Lawrence 9.