LHS boys run past Shawnee Mission North behind decisive 3rd quarter
Lawrence High senior Mayson Quartlebaum threw down a vicious left-handed slam, only to follow that up with an equally emphatic block on the other end during an 80-52 win over Shawnee Mission North on Friday night at LHS.
In a matter of seconds — a sequence that took place in the final minute of the third period — Quartlebaum showed why Lawrence High boys basketball will still be a force in Sunflower League play this season, despite the team replacing four starters from a team that won the league crown a year ago.
Quartlebaum soared through the lane for left-handed dunk, which was his second slam against the Shawnee Mission North (0-2) defense, with 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Moments later, he swatted away a layup attempt by the Indians.
“It is nice when you can execute the play and make the highlight play out of it,” LHS head coach Mike Lewis said. “It makes you feel good as a team. We are at that point in the season where we need to execute. We need to be clean and specific on some looks.”
It was a fitting way for the Lions to end a decisive third quarter. After leading by just 9 points at the half, Lawrence pulled away with a 24-point showing in the third period. It removed any doubt about the outcome, as the Lions improved to 3-2 entering winter break.
Junior guard Zeke Mayo started the second half off with back-to-back triples within the first minute to stretch Lawrence’s lead to double digits. Quartlebaum then netted a 3-pointer and delivered a no-look pass to Bryce Johnson for an easy layup over the next minute.
“I thought we shared it pretty well and we executed really well,” Lewis said. “I’d say that series of events was all that.”
Senior Peyton Mallory got in on the action with consecutive transition baskets, including a nifty finish on an and-one. Quartlebaum then scored 6 points over the final two minutes to help LHS cruise the rest of the game.
All five starters scored at least 9 points for the Lions, including four players who finished in double figures. Quartlebaum led the way with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while Mayo went 7-for-8 to produce 17 points. Mallory and Johnson finished with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
“I think we had a really good December,” Lewis said. “We are still learning a lot about ourselves, but we are also finding out a lot and where our brand might go.”
LHS will travel to Olathe West on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
SM NORTH (52)
Zach Nelson 6-13 0-0 16, Jeffrey Murphy 2-8 0-2 5, Mike Harris 3-5 2-2 8, Jadin Cullen 0-1 0-0 0, Darion Holland 3-5 2-2 9, Logan Oberle 4-9 0-0 8, Miles Cole 1-2 3-6 5, Noah Rogers 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 19-44 8-14 52.
Zeke Mayo 7-8 0-0 17, Peyton Mallory 6-8 3-3 15, Bryce Johnson 5-7 0-0 10, Mayson Quartlebaum 6-11 6-6 19, Ruben Littlehead 3-6 1-2 9, Valdez White 1-2 1-2 3, Ethan Bentzinger 0-2 00-2 0, JaCorey Thompson 1-1 0-0 2, Gannon Hill 1-1 0-0 3, Truman Juelsgaard 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 30-46 13-17 80.
SM North 7 14 13 18 — 52
Lawrence 15 15 24 26 — 80
Three-point goals: LHS 7-15 (Mayo 3, Littlehead 2, Quartlebaum, Hill); SMN 6-14 (Nelson 4, Jeffrey Murphy, Holland). Turnovers: LHS 5; SMN 14. Fouled out: None.