LHS boys roll past Olathe East for fifth win in a row
OLATHE — Lawrence High boys basketball coach Mike Lewis knows he can call a set for any player on the court.
The Lions have capable threats across the board, as any player can put up numbers on any given night. It has often led to multiple double-digit scorers through the early part of the season, which was the case during a 58-41 win at Olathe East Tuesday night.
A trio of players notched double figures, as Lawrence led for the duration of its fifth consecutive win.
“I tell our guys a lot that the weight is not on anybody’s shoulders,” Lewis said. “We are not a team where we rely on one person to carry us. If our guys truly buy in night in and night out, and we don’t care who scores, then we can start to be pretty good.”
Senior Trey Quartlebaum led the Lions with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting, managing to put the ball through the basket in a multitude of ways. Quartlebaum attacked the rim in transition, while also drilling multiple pull-up jumpers.
But he wasn’t alone, as has been the case for LHS (5-1, 2-0 Sunflower League) during its first six games of the 2018-19 campaign.
Senior Brett Chapple added 12 points, including 10 during a 19-point showing in the third quarter. Sophomore Zeke Mayo connected on a pair of triples, and got in the passing lane to create a couple layups off steals as well during his 10-point effort.
Even junior Mayson Quartlebaum finished just shy of double figures, recording seven of his nine points in the second quarter. Senior Clarence King scored seven points, despite sitting on the bench along with the rest of the starters during the final minutes of a one-sided league affair.
“A lot of players on our team are playmakers, so we trust each other with the ball,” Trey Quartlebaum said. “Not a lot of teams are going to have five solid (players) across the board. It is something we can take advantage of.”
The balanced attack has been on display during the team’s five-game win streak since dropping the season opener to Park Hill South. Over that span, the Lions (No. 3 in Class 6A) have won all but one game by double digits and have posted an average margin of victory of 16.6 points per contest.
Even the reserves have managed to get in on the action. Junior guard Willie Dotson drained a triple against the Hawks (3-4, 1-2), and has demonstrated the ability to create off the dribble. Junior forward Bryce Johnson netted a bucket in the fourth quarter.
Senior starter Eric Galbreath cashed both of his attempts from the free throw line, which gave LHS a 2-0 advantage within the first minute against Olathe East.
“If someone has a bad night, they don’t usually get upset,” Chapple said. “If we win, that’s all that matters. That is what is really good about our team.”
To top it off, the Lions are starting to figure things out on the defensive end.
Lawrence held Olathe East to just 41 points, matching a season-low showing by the defense. The Hawks posted just six points in the opening period, finishing the game with a 14-for-48 effort from the field.
“We were being aggressive,” Lewis said. “I liked our energy, and we just played well together.”
Lewis still believes the Lions have even more to improve on, as they have yet to really be on a routine.
Friday’s 76-57 win over Gardner-Edgerton was Lawrence’s first game in over a month. Tuesday’s victory was the first day that LHS players had school. Once Lawrence starts getting a consistent appetite of games, there is no telling what this team is capable of.
“We are still not in a routine of being in school, but I thought they handled things well today,” Lewis said. “I do feel like we have gotten better since break, but we have a long way to go.”
LHS plays host to Shawnee Mission North at 7 p.m. Friday.
Zeke Mayo 3-5 2-2 10, Clarence King 3-11 0-2 7, Brett Chapple 4-9 4-4 12, Trey Quartlebaum 6-11 1-1 13, Eric Galbreath 0-1 2-2 2, Willie Dotson 1-2 0-0 3, Mayson Quartlebaum 4-6 0-1 9, Bryce Johnson 1-5 0-0 2. Totals: 22-50 9-12 58.
Olathe East (41)
Jake Reynolds 2-13 5-6 9, Robert Kullberg 0-2 1-2 1, Charlie Bell 1-7 1-2 4, Mason Addison 0-3 2-2 2, Kamari Armstrong 5-12 1-1 11, Andrew Sonner 2-5 2-2 6, Sam Carroll 1-3 0-1 2, Brett Apel 2-2 0-0 4, Kye Schmale 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 14-48 12-16 41.
Lawrence 13 11 19 15 — 58
Olathe East 6 12 13 10 — 41
Three-point goals: Lawrence 5-14 (Mayo 2, Dotson, Mayson Quartlebaum, King); Olathe East 1-8 (Bell). Turnovers: Lawrence HIgh 10, Olathe East 5. Fouled out: None.