LHS boys score 33 unanswered points in second half to put away SM North
Lawrence High boys basketball coach Mike Lewis wasn’t ready to admit he gave the best halftime speech of the year.
Lewis did credit assistant coaches Matt Green, Mike Harding, Scott Lane and Jacob Larsen for helping make the necessary second-half adjustments. In the end, though, the players made the unfathomable run happen during a 74-39 victory over Shawnee Mission North Friday night at LHS.
The Lions scored 33 unanswered points in the second half, including a 26-0 advantage in the third quarter, to bury their latest Sunflower League foe on a night when tipoff was moved up an hour due to inclement weather.
“We just came out and overwhelmed them,” Lewis said. “This week, a point of emphasis was just finishing plays and being a little bit cleaner. (We) just wanted to tighten things down some.”
Lawrence (6-1, 3-0 Sunflower League) set the tone with a 10-0 run in the first 133 seconds of the third quarter. Senior Clarence King finished off an alley-oop in transition, while senior Trey Quartlebaum drained a pair of 3-pointers.
But that was just the start of pure dominance by LHS (No. 2 in Class 6A) during an 11-minute stretch.
Sophomore Zeke Mayo continued to push the ball in transition. Junior Mayson Quartlebaum scored all 6 of his points in the final minutes of the third quarter. Senior Bryant Graham netted a bucket in the final seconds of the third quarter to give Lawrence a 67-33 advantage.
However, the Lions were more impressed with their showing on the defensive end.
“I didn’t know until the end of the third quarter, someone on the bench told me that they hadn’t scored,” Quartlebaum said. “Personally, I was just trying to not let my man score. I was trying to see how much we could stop them in the second half.”
After that, LHS did its best to keep the drought alive. Senior Eric Galbreath recorded a monster block in the fourth quarter. Bryce Johnson, Willie Dotson and Peyton Mallory also came off the bench and provided stellar defense.
Shawnee Mission North (2-6, 1-4) eventually netted its first points in the second half at the 4:45 mark in the fourth quarter. Quartlebaum led the way with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Mayo (15), King (13) and senior Brett Chapple (11) all joined him in double figures.
“In the Sunflower League, this usually doesn’t happen,” Lewis said. “But I’m very happy with our effort and energy and getting a lot of guys on the floor.”
Lawrence will compete in the Topeka West Invitational, which begins Thursday.
SM North (39)
Zach Nelson 1-8 0-0 2; KT Harris 1-4 0-0 2; Darion Hollan 1-2 1-2 3; Amari Williams 5-15 1-1 14; Michael Harris 3-3 0-0 6; Termain Jackson 3-6 0-0 7; Miles Cole 1-1 0-0 2; Corey Johnson 0-1 2-2 2; Logan Oberle 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: 15-40 5-7 39.
Zeke Mayo 5-14 2-2 15; Clarence King 6-11 0-0 13; Brett Chapple 5-5 1-1 11; Trey Quartlebaum 7-12 2-2 20; Eric Galbreath 1-2 0-0 2; Bryant Graham 1-4 2-2 4; Willie Dotson 1-3 0-0 3; Mayson Quartlebaum 2-4 2-2 6; Garrett Hart 0-1 0-0 0; Bryce Johnson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 28-58 9-9 74.
3-point goals: SM North 4-16 (Williams 3, Jackson 1); Lawrence 9-21 (Mayo 3, King, T. Quartlebaum 4, Dotson). Turnovers: SM North 11, Lawrence 10. Fouled out: None.
LHS girls bounce back with comfortable victory
In the final seconds of the first half, Lawrence High senior Hannah Stewart clanked her second attempt from the free-throw line.
Fellow senior Chisom Ajekwu, a KU signee, corralled the miss and netted a bucket in one smooth motion to give the Lions a 14-point lead at the intermission. It was that kind of night for Lawrence during its 43-23 victory over Shawnee Mission North Friday night at LHS.
The Lions were nearly flawless for much of the win. And when they weren’t, Ajekwu was there to clean things up.
“She typically blocks two or three people out and she rebounds out of her zone all the time,” LHS head coach Jeff Dickson said. “It is super to watch, and I’m going to enjoy it the last 15 or 16 games we have with her. Then, we will try to clone her and start again next year.”
Ajekwu finished with a game-high 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting. But it took a collective effort to ensure Lawrence (5-2, 2-1 Sunflower League) would respond the right way following its first league loss of the season.
Just three days ago, LHS (No. 8 in 6A) suffered a 58-33 loss at Olathe East. It marked the team’s most lopsided loss in three years.
As a result, the veteran squad was determined to put Tuesday’s loss behind them. Ajekwu gifted the Lions an advantage within 67 seconds. Less than three minutes later, they increased their lead to double digits.
“We knew we had to work hard, what happened in the past was in the past,” Ajekwu said. “It was very important to bring out the energy today and start off with a boom.”
The entire starting lineup of Sammy Williams, Sophie DeWitt, Leslie Ostronic, Stewart and Ajekwu scored in the first half to remove any doubt about the outcome. DeWitt knocked down a pair of jumpers during the team’s opening 10-0 run.
In the second quarter, Williams buried a 3-pointer to silence a brief run by Shawnee Mission North.
A combination of Chisom Ajekwu, Williams, Ozi Ajekwu and Evann Seratte made it impossible for the Indians to get off any shots near the rim. Shawnee Mission North (0-7, 0-5) scored just 8 of its 23 points on 2-point shots.
“I thought defensively we played a lot better,” Dickson said. “I thought we did a better job playing team defense and working together.”
Lawrence will face Liberty at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Truman High School.
Shawnee Mission North (23)
Summer Wieneke 3-8 0-2 7; Danielle Scaduto 0-0 0-1 0; Allison Dowd 2-10 0-0; Madison Koller 2-9 0-0 4; Madison Rosas 1-7 0-0 3; Anna Harrison 1-3 0-0 3;
Hannah Stewart 0-8 1-2 1; Leslie Ostronic 2-9 0-0 4; Sammy Williams 4-8 0-4 9; Sophie DeWitt 2-5 0-0 4; Chisom Ajekwu 11-19 1-1 24; Ozi Ajekwu 0-2 1-2 1; Ella Stewart 0-9 0-0 0′ Evann Seratte 0-6 0-0 0; Layla Harjo 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 19-69 3-9 43.
Three-point goals: SM North 5-19 (Wieneke, Dowd 2, Rosas, Harrison); LHS 2-25 (C. Ajekwu, Williams). Turnovers: SM North 15, Lawrence 8. Fouled out: None.