Free State girls extend winning streak to four
Lawrence High’s and Free State’s girls basketball teams both entered Friday night’s City Showdown with three-game winning streaks, but it was the Firebirds who stayed hot to beat the Lions, 58-45, at LHS.
The Firebirds (16-4) took control of the game with an 8-0 run to begin the second quarter. FSHS went on to outscore the Lions 17-5 in the period to take a 27-13 lead into the break.
“I thought we really played like a mature team,” Free State coach Bryan Duncan said. “We moved the ball really well and got the ball to the right spots throughout the night.”
Sophomore Madison Piper paced the Firebirds with 22 points, and seniors Adriana Jadlow and Sarah Coversup joined her in double figures with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
“It feels good to win a rivalry game in an atmosphere where everybody is loud and screaming,” Jadlow said. “We can only rely on our teammates and our coaches.”
While Piper, Jadlow and Coversup accounted for 52 of the team’s 58 points and combined to pull down 18 rebounds, Duncan credited the whole team for being able to defeat its crosstown rival.
“Those three, their stat lines are impressive, but just as impressive were our role players,” Duncan said. “We got the ball in the right places and did a lot of little things to allow those girls to score like that.”
FSHS did not let up in the third quarter and built a 21-point advantage going into the final eight minutes, but the Lions did not go quietly. After totaling 21 points in the first three quarters, the Lions (6-14) exploded for 24 in the fourth.
“We play until the last buzzer beats,” LHS junior Alexis Boyd said. “We continue to compete whether the game is over or not. We keep our heads up high and go out and compete.”
Boyd netted a team-high 14 points for the Lions on 7-of-13 shooting. The 5-foot 10-inch junior said the team’s effort in the fourth quarter was sparked by the impact that seniors Rebecca and Matia Finley and Marissa Pope made.
“We want to make them proud, and that’s what they expect and (LHS coach Jeff) Dickson and everybody else,” Boyd said. “So we go out there and do what they say and compete.”
Dickson has noticed a steady improvement from Boyd over the last few weeks. Boyd has scored in double figures in three of the Lions’ past five games.
“She’s really come on the second half of the season,” Dickson said. “She has stepped her game up, stepped her work ethic up and is starting to recognize how good she could really be.”
The game also served as Senior Night for Pope and the Finley sisters. With it being a year of transition for Dickson as the Lions’ first-year head coach, he has been proud of the way the three seniors have guided the team.
“Marissa has been basically a four-year starter and played a tremendous amount of varsity. She’s the heart and soul of our program,” Dickson said. “Both Finley sisters have just done a fantastic job and improved so much.”
Free State will open sub-state play against Kansas City Wyandotte at 7 p.m. Thursday at FSHS. Lawrence High will play at Shawnee Mission South at 7 p.m. Thursday.
FREE STATE (58)
Morgan Gantz 0-0 0-0 0, Cameryn Thomas 1-5 1-4 3, Adriana Jadlow 6-11 3-6 16, Madison Piper 8-18 4-4 22, Hannah Walter 0-3 1-2 1, Sarah Coversup 6-10 2-5 14, Hannah Shoemaker 1-1 0-0 2. Total 22-48 11-21 58.
Olivia Lemus 2-5 0-0 4, Skylar Drum 1-6 1-4 3, E’lease Stafford 2-5 4-4 8, Marissa Pope 3-9 3-6 10, Matia Finley 3-5 0-2 6, Asia Goodwin 0-0 0-0 0, Alexis Boyd 7-13 0-0 14, Rebecca Finley 0-2 0-0 0. Total 18-45 8-16 45.
Free State 10 17 15 13 — 58
Lawrence 8 5 8 24 — 45
Three-point goals: Free State 3-8 (Piper 2, Jadlow), Lawrence High 1-11 (Pope). Turnovers: Free State 11 Lawrence High 10.