LHS girls fall to Gardner Edgerton, drop first game of season

Lawrence High junior forward Sammy Williams (12) grabs a rebound in a game against Gardner Edgerton on Friday night at LHS.

Lawrence High girls basketball coach Jeff Dickson thought senior guard Tyrin Cosey was fouled on a potential game-tying 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

But he thought the Lions should’ve put themselves in a better position in the final minutes after a 45-42 loss against Gardner Edgerton on Friday at LHS, their first loss of the season.

The Lions led by five points with under five minutes left when junior point guard Hannah Stewart threaded a pass into the paint to junior center Chisom Ajekwu, who converted a layup. But that’s where the offense stalled against Gardner Edgerton’s zone defense, failing to score on five straight possessions.

Gardner Edgerton (5-1, 2-0 in the Sunflower League) took advantage of Lawrence’s scoring drought with a 10-0 run. Freshman Sofia Semon sunk a 3-pointer to give the Trailblazers their first lead since early in the second quarter.

A couple of missed free throws kept Lawrence’s deficit at three points following a layup by senior E’lease Stafford, but Cosey’s desperation shot from the top of the key was blocked as she fell to the floor in pain.

“We didn’t lose the game in the last two minutes, we lost it in the first two-and-a-half quarters,” Dickson said.

The Lions (5-1, 2-1 in Sunflower League) led for most of the first half, creating scoring opportunities for Ajekwu in the paint, senior guard Talima Harjo on the perimeter and Stafford everywhere else in between. But it was never enough scoring to pull away from the Trailblazers and star senior guard Skylar Washington.

The 5-foot-10 Washington scored a game-high 25 points, connecting on five 3-pointers. By the end of the third quarter, Washington had 23 of her team’s 32 points.

“Every time we stretched it out, we’d have what I felt like was a defensive breakdown and we’d leave (Washington) wide open and she’d step up and hit a big shot,” Dickson said.

Ajekwu and Stafford helped the Lions take a seven-point lead into halftime by controlling the paint in the second quarter. The 6-3 Ajekwu had 19 points and 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season, receiving a few strong passes in the low post from fellow forward Sammy Williams.

In the fourth quarter, the Lions kept the ball away from Washington except for a couple of rushed shots. Instead, the Trailblazers found other open shooters. Guard Kynli Nelson scored five of her eight points in the last six minutes.

“It’s a learning experience for us,” Dickson said. “We know in this league with the level of teams we play, we can’t give away a dozen possessions in a game whether through turnovers or a defensive breakdown.”

Gardner Edgerton (45)

Kynli Nelson 3-10 0-0 8, Madyson Beasley 0-1 1-2 1, Taylor Carpenter 0-4 0-0 0, Sofia Semon 2-7 2-2 7, Skylar Washington 8-15 4-6 25, Mia Vallery 2-2 0-1 4, Kelby Wilson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-40 7-11 45.

Lawrence (42)

Hannah Stewart 0-3 0-0 0, Talima Harjo 5-11 0-0 12, Tyrin Cosey 0-4 0-0 0, E’lease Stafford 5-17 0-0 11, Chisom Ajekwu 8-9 3-5 19, Asia Goodwin 0-3 0-2 0, Leslie Ostronic 0-0 0-0 0, Sammy Williams 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 18-47 3-9 42.

Gardner Edgerton 10 8 14 13 — 45

Lawrence 11 14 8 9 — 42

Three-point goals: Gardner Edgerton 8-22 (Washington 5, Nelson 2, Semon); Lawrence 3-14 (Harjo 2, Stafford). Fouled out: Stafford. Turnovers: Gardner Edgerton 12, Lawrence 13.