LHS boys outlast Garden City, punch ticket to 6A state tournament

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Lawrence High Lion's Clarence King (3) screams with excitement with Mayson Quartlebaum (10) and Zeke Mayo (2) after their win over Garden City at the KSHSAA Sub-State tournament at Lawrence High School on March 1, 2019.

It wasn’t until Lawrence High senior Trey Quartlebaum received the inbound pass with three seconds remaining that he realized he was going back to the state tournament.

Quartlebaum dribbled the remaining three ticks off to put the finishing touch on a 56-51 win over Garden City Friday night at LHS. It was an exhausting, grinding battle between the fourth and fifth seed of the 6A west bracket in what turned out to be a compelling sub-state championship.

In the end, though, Lawrence came out on the right end to notch its fifth consecutive trip to the 6A state tournament. It is the second-longest streak of state berths in program history, trailing only the 1916-22 run by the Lions.

“It felt good to end my last game in here on a win,” Quartlebaum said. “It was good to face adversity to see how our guys respond. If it is just easy for us, then it doesn’t help us. Facing a good team like that really helped us.”

Despite being there before, the celebration was as raucous as always.

LHS players joined the student section on the court, chanting about going to state while hoisting up the sub-state plaque. It was significant moment for the Lions, who notched last year’s sub-state title away from home.

“It felt different, because I’m a senior,” senior Clarence King said. “When I was a sophomore and junior, I felt like it was for (the seniors). Since this is my senior year, it meant more.”

photo by: Carter Gaskins

The Lawrence High Lions pose with the Sub-State Championship Trophy after their win over Garden City at the KSHSAA Sub-State tournament at Lawrence High School on March 1, 2019.

The senior leadership was exactly the reason Lawrence was able to stave off a late surge by Garden City.

After leading by as many as 15 points early in the fourth quarter, the Lions were battle-tested over the final six-plus minutes. The Buffaloes (17-5) eventually pulled within 3 points with 2:28 left in the game.

King elected to start defending GCHS senior Kyler Lamb, who scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter. Lamb was locked down, while junior Mayson Quartlebaum and King netted five free throws down the stretch.

“You can’t simulate it in practice, the energy and the mental side of being able to handle the atmosphere,” LHS head coach Mike Lewis. “There are so many intangible things that go into winning that game.

It was as good of a time as any for the Lions to have to sweat out an outcome. For much of the season, they have rolled over most opponents.

Friday’s 5-point win was the first time LHS has won a game by less than 16 points during its seven-game win streak. Over the previous six games, the Lions had won by an average of 25.66 points per contest.

“We needed a game like this to know what it is going to be in front of us,” King said. “We are used to beating everyone by 15 or 20. That was a good game, that really woke us up.”

photo by: Carter Gaskins

The Lawrence High Lions celebrating their championship win over Garden City at the KSHSAA Sub-State tournament at Lawrence High School on March 1, 2019.

Lawrence still led for nearly the entire night, trailing for only 15 seconds in the first quarter.

King threw down a dunk off a steal with 6:12 left in the first half, which was the start of an 18-6 run to close out the half. Quartlebaum also threw down a slam off a Garden City turnover during the decisive stretch.

King and Quartlebaum combined for all 18 points to help give LHS a 27-13 advantage at the intermission. King attacked the rim with power, scoring nine of his team-high 17 points over the final six-plus minutes of the second quarter. Quartlebaum (12 points) connected on the lone triple over that stretch via an assist by sophomore Zeke Mayo, who finished with 14 points.

“That was a big quarter, just to give us that cushion,” Lewis said. “We just need to buy into that shared responsibility. I thought they shared it well in that quarter between the two of them.”

It was enough for the Lions to add even more hardware during their stellar season. They have won a pair of tournament titles to go along with a Sunflower League crown. LHS has just one more plaque left, which can be netted next week at Wichita State University.

“We just have to play as a team,” King said. “If we play selfish, we are not going to win. If we play as a team, we will win.”


Jarrod Springston 6-12 0-0 13, Azavier Williams 5-11 0-0 10, Carlos Acosta 3-7 0-0 8, Kyler Lamb 4-19 6-9 16, Jackson Dirks 1-2 0-0 2, Kelvon Bennett 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 20-53 6-9 51.


Zeke Mayo 4-10 4-5 14, Clarence King 4-10 9-14 17, Brett Chapple 2-3 1-1 5, Trey Quartlebaum 5-8 0-0 12, Eric Galbreath 0-0 0-0 0, Mayson Quartlebaum 3-6 2-2 8, Willie Dotson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 18-40 16-22 56.

3-point goals: FS 5-19 (Springston, Acosta 2, Lamb 2); GS 5-19 LHS 4-12 (Mayo 2, T. Quartlebaum 2); Turnovers: GC 10; LHS 11. Fouled out: None.


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