Lawrence High girls roll past J.C. Harmon for 74-13 win

photo by: Evan Riggs

Lawrence High coach Jeff Dickson (middle) addresses his team after the first quarter of Thursday’s game against Harmon. LHS won 74-13.

Cree Stewart picked up her dribble just beyond the arc with no defender within shouting distance. Cheers for the freshman to shoot could be heard from the Lawrence High bench with less than a minute remaining in Thursday’s contest.

Stewart obliged and drained the 3-pointer, which earned a roar of approval from her teammates, to cap off a nearly perfect night for the Lions.

Thirteen Lawrence players scored, and the team forced J.C. Harmon to commit 28 turnovers in a runaway 74-13 win. Junior Ozi Ajekwu led the way with 10 points for LHS while seniors Paiden Bell and Sophie DeWitt added 9 and 8 points, respectively.

The Lions improved to 2-1 on the season in their home opener with their starters only playing in the opening half. Much of the second half belonged to the nine freshmen listed on Thursday’s roster.

“To see (the freshmen) out there cheering for each other, and having the older kids cheering for them, I think it brings our team closer together,” LHS coach Jeff Dickson said. “It shows we have genuine love and respect for everybody on our team.”

When the regulars played, LHS quickly flexed its muscle in the opening half. The Lions scored the game’s first 14 points and forced 11 turnovers in the opening period.

In fact, Harmon finished with just three more shot attempts (31) than turnovers (28). The Hawks converted on just six of those attempts against a suffocating Lions’ defense.

“That really helped us,” DeWitt said of the teams’ press. “We got a lot of steals and easy layups off of that.”

LHS led 23-4 after a buzzer-beater from beyond the arc by sophomore Layla Harjo to end the first quarter. The Lions drained four of their eight attempts from 3-point range in the opening period.

“Sometimes in a game like that you get people who can lose the team concept,” Dickson said. “I don’t feel we did that on offense or defense. I think we stuck with what we’re trying to build towards.

“I was really proud of that more than anything else.”

The onslaught continued in the second quarter, propelled by a 3-pointer by Harjo to open the period.

The Lions used a trapping press and ball movement to flummox the Hawks. LHS players and coaches alike agreed the ball movement is the biggest area of improvement since a setback to Topeka High to open the season.

“We like to play fast,” Bell said. “Moving the ball around quickly gets our girls open.”

The Lions poured on 27 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a commanding 50-4 lead into the locker room on their way to a win.

However, Dickson said his team has to quickly refocus for a matchup against a “well-coached” St. James Academy team at 7 p.m. Friday.

Lawrence 23 27 19 5 — 74

Harmon 4 0 7 2 — 13

Lawrence (74)

Amaya Marshall 2-5 1-2 7, Ella Stewart 2-4 2-2 6, Sophie DeWitt 3-7 1-2 8, Layla Harjo 2-5 0-0 6, Ozi Ajekwu 4-6 2-4 10, Serenity Keo 2-2 0-0 4, Paiden Bell 4-8 0-0 9, Hailey Ramirez 0-2 0-0 0, Kayla Galbreath 0-2 2-3 2, Lexi Dutcher 1-5 3-6 5, Jocelyn Wilson 2-2 0-0 6, Bailey Babbitt 2-4 0-0 4, Daphne Bracker Sturm 1-5 2-2 4, Cree Stewart 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 26-60 13-25 74.

Harmon (13)

Taronika Boone 0-5 1-2 1, Moesha Hayes 2-4 0-1 4, Marayah Taylor 1-8 0-0 2, Hoang Hussein 2-3 0-0 4, Samari Holmes 1-2 0-0 2, Jadah Clark 0-5 0-0 0, Yeimi Campos 0-2 0-0 0, Ni’Von Smith 0-2 0-0 0.Totals: 6-31 1-5 13

3-point goals: LHS 9-19 (Marshall 2-3, Harjo 2-4, Wilson 2-2, DeWitt 1-2, Bell 1-2, Cree Stewart 1-1, Ramirez 0-2, Dutcher 0-3); Harmon 0-4 (Campos 0-1, Taylor 0-2, Clark 0-1). Turnovers: LHS 18; Harmon 28. Fouled out: None.


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