LHS boys take down FSHS boys in City Showdown
Bragging rights for the City Showdown once again belong back with the Lawrence High boys basketball team.
After falling in the rivalry matchup last season, Lawrence flexed its dominance in the crosstown clash with a 71-55 win over Free State Monday night at LHS. After leading by just 1 point at the intermission, the Lions (No. 5 in Class 6A) stretched their lead out to double digits just five minutes into the second half.
The Firebirds (No. 10 in 6A) have now lost two games in a row this season, both of which have come against ranked foes.
“I liked the way we just maintained our lead,” LHS head coach Mike Lewis said. “In the second half, I thought our defense was sound. We challenged every shot.”
It was all Lawrence High (13-3, 6-2 Sunflower League) in the early going for the latest installment of the City Showdown, which was originally slated to take place at Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 11.
The Lions scored 17 points, knocking down their first five shots in as many possessions. Senior Trey Quartlebaum buried a 3-pointer on the game’s first possession, scoring 8 points on the first handful of trips to give Lawrence a 17-2 lead within the first two minutes of the contest.
Fellow senior Clarence King also hit a 3-pointer, while senior Brett Chapple netted a layup on an assist from sophomore Zeke Mayo. The Lions did not miss a shot until the 5:44 mark in the first quarter.
“We played with high energy, and we were just explosive,” Lewis said. “We knew Free State wasn’t going to go anywhere, they are too good of a team defensively.”
Free State clawed back with perfect execution on the defensive end.
The Firebirds (11-5, 5-4) eventually trimmed the deficit to 19-7 by the end of the first frame before evening things up late in the second quarter. A pair of timely runs fueled the comeback, as senior Noah Butler attacked the LHS defense off the dribble. Junior DK Middleton flushed a slam in transition off his own steal, which tied things up at 20-20 at the 3:38 mark.
Freshman point guard Mozae Downing also connected on a pair of layups, while junior Turner Corcoran bullied his way to a basket near the rim. Ethan Lincoln, Andrew Piper and Ryan Stacey also proved valuable minutes on the defensive end to pull within 24-23 at the intermission.
“They punched us first, and I liked the way we fought back,” FSHS coach Sam Stroh said. “I’ve only been coaching this game for four years, but I told Clarence that was the best single-game performance I have ever seen.”
King then took over during a 24-point third quarter to help the Lions pull away for good. At one point, King scored seven consecutive points for the hosts to stretch the team’s lead to double digits. Junior Mayson Quartlebaum was a force inside, while Trey Quartlebaum drilled a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to give LHS a 48-34 advantage at the end of the third period.
King paced the Lions with 36 points on 10-of-23 shooting from the floor. Trey Quartlebaum finished with 14 points to join him in double figures. In a losing effort, both Butler (18 points) and Middleton (13 points) notched double-digit performances for the Firebirds.
“(King) was steady and it was one of his better games offensively,” Lewis said. “He really bought into driving the ball.
Both teams will be on the road tonight for another league affair. Lawrence will travel to Shawnee Mission Northwest, while Free State will head to Olathe West.
Free State (55)
Mozae Downing 3-11 2-4 8; Noah Butler 5-24 8-13 18; DK Middleton 5-10 2-4 13; Ethan Lincoln 3-4 1-2 9; Turner Corcoran 3-3 0-0 6; Ryan Stacey 0-2 0-0 0; Andrew Piper 0-0 0-0 0; Dash Cleveland 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 19-55 14-25 55.
Zeke Mayo 1-4 4-4 6; Clarence King 10-23 12-13 36; Brett Chapple 3-6 0-0 6; Trey Quartlebaum 5-11 1-3 14; Eric Galbreath 1-1 0-0 2; Mayson Quartlebaum 1-4 2-4 4; Bryce Johnson 0-1 1-2 1; Willie Dotson 0-0 0-0 0; Peyton Mallory 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 21-50 22-28 71.
Free State 9 14 11 21 – 55
Lawrence 17 7 24 23 – 71
3-point goals: Free State: 3-10 (Lincoln 2, Middleton); Lawrence: 7-16 (King 4, T. Quartlebaum 3). Turnovers: Free State 10, Lawrence 12. Fouled Out: None