Lawrence boys wallop Wichita Southeast behind 27-point third quarter
photo by: Carter Gaskins
It is safe to say that the third quarter belongs to the Lawrence High boys basketball team until further notice.
For the third consecutive game, LHS saved its firepower for the third period to cruise to a double-digit win. Lawrence dropped 27 points in the third quarter to thrash Wichita Southeast, 72-46, Friday night at Topeka West.
With the win, the Lions (8-1) advanced to the championship game of the Topeka Invitational Tournament, where they will face Topeka High at 1:15 p.m. Saturday.
“The first half had that punch-for-punch feel,” LHS head coach Mike Lewis said. “We came out and had another good third quarter. We had some breakout shots that were momentum shots. I just liked the way our guys came out and shared it.”
Lawrence’s otherworldly stretch of third-quarter outbursts began last Friday, when the team dropped 26 points during a 74-39 victory over Shawnee Mission North. LHS poured in 27 third-quarter points during its 82-66 win over Topeka West in the opening round of the tournament Thursday night.
But the latest offensive clinic in the third frame was perhaps the most impressive.
After being tied at 24-24 at the intermission, the Lions broke the game open against a team ranked higher than them in the latest poll by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association. The Golden Buffaloes (8-2) are No. 2 in 6A, while the Lions are listed at No. 3 in Class 6A.
“We look at (the rankings), but it doesn’t define our team,” said senior Trey Quartlebaum, who finished with 20 points.
Quartlebaum opened the floodgates with a triple at the 7:18 mark, giving his team a lead that it wouldn’t relinquish.
The 3-pointer was the start of an 18-2 run by Lawrence during the first four minutes, 19 seconds of the third period. Sophomore Zeke Mayo, who led the team with 22 points, buried a pair of triples and a layup. Seniors Brett Chapple (10 points) and Clarence King (12 points) also provided key plays for the Lions during that stretch.
But the highlight of the run came via the Mayo-Quartlebaum connection. Following a turnover by Wichita Southeast, Mayo had the ball at the free-throw line. Mayo then hurled a pass up to the opposite free-throw line, where Quartlebaum caught it in stride and completed the sequence with a layup.
Wichita Southeast called a timeout, but the damage had been done.
“Props to Trey for finishing the play,” Mayo said. “I’ve only really thrown that pass in the summer when I knew where my teammates were going to be.”
Still, the lopsided victory by LHS served as a statement for the rest of Class 6A.
It marked Lawrence’s first victory over a ranked Kansas foe and extended Lawrence’s winning streak to eight consecutive games. All but one of the previous seven games were decided by more than 15 points. Over that span, LHS was beating teams by an average of 19.14 points per game.
Despite rolling over teams with ease, the Lions have switched places with the Golden Buffaloes in each of the last three updates by the KBCA poll. On Dec. 17, Lawrence fell to No. 3 and Wichita Southeast was listed at No. 2. LHS leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on Jan. 7, but the Buffaloes reclaimed the spot in the most recent update.
“We beat them by 20-plus, so I really think that puts something on the name of Lawrence High,” Mayo said. “I think we are the best team in this tournament, so hopefully we can keep this going.”
The Lions are far from being done, too.
Lawrence will get another strong opponent in Topeka High (No. 8 in 6A) during the championship game, as it looks to claim its second tournament title this season after winning the Blue Valley Shootout in December. The Lions have not won the Topeka Invitational title since the 2015-16 season.
“Anytime you have a chance to win a championship, you have to get excited,” Lewis said. “How many times in your life do you get a chance to win a championship? So, don’t ever take it for granted.”
Zeke Mayo 9-14 2-2 22; Clarence King 5-13 1-4 12; Brett Chapple 4-5 1-2 10; Trey Quartlebaum 7-14 2-5 20; Eric Galbreth 0-3 0-0 0; Willie Dotson 0-2 0-0 0; Bryce Johnson 1-3 0-0 2; Bryant Graham 1-2 2-2 4; Mayton Quartlebaum 1-2 0-1 2. Totals: 25-58 8-16 72.
Wichita Southeast (46)
Jackie Johnson 7-20 0-0 15; Johnny Murdock 3-10 0-0 6; Rone Smith 1-7 0-0 2; Micah Jacques 2-12 3-4 7; Breelyn Wright 2-4 0-0 4; Markell Randle 2-2 0-0 4; Vochun Webb 1-2 0-0 2; AJ King 0-1 2-2 2; Averill Yarbrough 2-2 0-0 4. Totals: 20-60 5-6 46.
Lawrence 8 16 27 21 — 72
Wichita SE 10 14 14 8 — 46
3-point goals: Lawrence 8-21 (Mayo 2, King 1, Chapple 1, Quartlebaum 4); Wichita SE 1-11 (Johnson). Turnovers Lawrence 12, Wichita SE 11. Fouled out: None.