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Prep Appraisals - Lawrence High Boys vs. Shawnee Mission Northwest

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It's been quite some time since "The Dividing Line" blog made an appearance at LJWorld.com, but with the new year, we're looking to pump some life back into it.

To get things started, we'll slap a new name on an old favorite. If you're familiar with "The Keegan Ratings" at KUSports.com or remember "Tait's Take" from the days when "The Dividing Line" was a regular installment, you'll know how this works.

If not, here's a recap: Journal-World Sports Editor Tom Keegan ranks the Jayhawks’ performances in both football and basketball after every game he attends.

Former High School Sports Editor Matt Tait later introduced a similar ranking system for the local high school games (football, basketball, baseball) that he attended each week.

Basically, the individual rankings provide a great starting point for discussion and debate about the game. That will be the idea here with "Prep Appraisals." Because we can’t be in two places at once — or even three for that matter — this will not be a comprehensive look at athletes at both Lawrence High and Free State over the course of any given season. However, it will provide you with a deeper look at the most recent game and will give Benton Smith of the Journal-World an opportunity to include those tidbits about certain players that may not have made it into his story about the game.

Here's the first edition of "Prep Appraisals," which examines the Lawrence boys' retro-riffic 44-24 beating of Shawnee Mission Northwest on Tuesday night.

1. Bryce Montes de Oca, so. — NIce efficiency from the 6-foot-7 big man. Shot the ball five times, made four of them. He even hit both of his free throws to finish with 10 points, which tied for a team best. Montes De Oca pulled in five boards, too, on a night when few were available.

2. Logan Henrichs, sr. — No one else for the Lions seems to impact the game in so many ways. Henrichs had seven points, but also pulled in a fair share of rebounds and made two outstanding blocks on defense — both times the 6-foot-2 guard got up high and avoided body contact to make a SMNW shot attempt look foolish.

3. Jake Mosiman, jr. — Tied for the team-high with 10 points. By going 2-for-3 from behind the arc, Mosiman continued to establish himself as the Lions' go-to guy from long range. Ever since his breakout game against Free State to close December, you can see his confidence growing.

4. Anthony Buffalomeat, sr. — With a seven-point outing, the senior guard didn't score as much as he has in the past, but the game's slow pace likely had as much to do with that as anything. He still had plenty to do with getting LHS back in the win column, because he almost never makes costly mistakes.

5. Shane Willoughby, jr. — Probably the most unsung player on the LHS roster, Willoughby set things up for his teammates — as usual — and played pesky defense on the perimeter — nothing new there, either.

6. KJ Pritchard, sr. — For reasons LHS coach Mike Lewis didn't get into, Pritchard came off the bench for the first time this season against SMNW. He sat for about three minutes at the beginning of both halves and took a pass-first approach when he got on the floor. When he attacked off the dribble, he looked to open teammates and finished with three assists. His patience against the Cougars' zone was impressive.

7. Troy Willoughby, sr. — When the 5-foot-10 guard comes in, he always lets the game come to him. In the third quarter, Troy's steal and layup gave the Lions a rare fast-break bucket.

8. Logan Smith, sr. — The athletic guard didn't come in until the fourth quarter, but when he did he showed aggression in driving to the paint a couple times.

9. Tyrone Jenkins, jr. — Not much playing time for the substitute forward, who has some bulk on his 6-foot frame, which helps out the Lions defensively.

Lawrence record: 5-3

Next up: 7 p.m. Friday at Olathe South.

— Be sure to follow @LJWpreps on twitter.

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