Local basketball roundup: Zeke Mayo pours in 28 points to lift Lawrence past Manhattan in season opener

photo by: Carter Gaskins

In this file photo, Lawrence High's Zeke Mayo (2) goes up for a challenged layup against Wichita Southeast's Keaton Williams (35) during a game against Wichita Southeast Saturday night at LHS on March 7, 2020.

Behind a 28-point performance from senior Zeke Mayo, Lawrence High’s boys basketball team started off the 2020-21 campaign with a 64-46 road win over Manhattan on Saturday at MHS.

Mayo, who was the Journal-World’s boys basketball player of the year a season ago, started off his senior campaign by going 11-for-16 from the floor against the Indians. He was 2-of-5 from long range, netting both of his triples in the first quarter.

Junior Pearse Long was the only other Lion to finish in double figures by adding in 14 points. He made three shots from the field, including one from beyond the arc.

“We had great energy and we are able to take a number of positive things away from this game,” LHS head coach Mike Lewis said. “We look for our stretch of games next week to be a real challenge for us.”

Clinging to a 14-11 after one quarter, LHS couldn’t create much cushion in the second period until a big 3-pointer at the end of the first half. With MHS defenders all over him, Jack Ryan found a way to get the shot off before time expired and connected on the triple.

It gave LHS a 30-23 advantage at halftime before the visitors put the game away over the final two quarters. Lawrence really locked down on defense in the fourth quarter, and didn’t surrender any points until a 3-pointer by MHS in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

Junior Truman Juelsgaard paced the Lions with four assists, while Mayo finished with a team-high seven rebounds. Senior Jackson Dooley added 7 points to go along with three rebounds and two assists.

“We are still in the process of learning about what our strengths will be with this group,” Lewis said. “But one thing is for sure, they are fun to coach.”

Lawrence (1-0) will compete in the Blue Valley Shootout next week.

Lawrence 14 16 22 12 — 64

Manhattan 11 12 20 3 — 46

Lawrence (64)

Zeke Mayo 28, Jack Ryan 3, Avion Nelson 6, Jackson Dooley 7, Ntenso Obono 2, Grant Cleavinger 4, Pearse Long 14.

photo by: Carter Gaskins

In this file photo, Lawrence High’s Layla Harjo (15) tries to get away from Olathe East’s Ally Biddison (22) tight defense during a game against Olathe East Friday night at LHS on Feb. 14, 2020.

Manhattan 54, Lawrence High girls 42

In the first game of the doubleheader in Manhattan, Lawrence High’s girls basketball team dropped a 54-42 decision to MHS.

A few days after a 36-point loss in the season opener, LHS had a nice response by jumping out to a 13-10 lead in the first quarter on Saturday. The Indians eventually reclaimed control of the contest, but the Lions were within striking distance and ultimately missed too many attempts at the free-throw line in the loss.

Manhattan had three players finish in double figures in its season-opening victory. Lawrence, meanwhile, fell to 0-2 to start the 2020-21 campaign.

Junior Layla Harjo and sophomore Serenity Keo led the way for LHS with double-digit outings. Harjo paced the team in the loss with 16 points, while Keo added 12 points on the night. Hailey Ramirez was also active on both ends of the floor and ended up with 6 points.

“Serenity Keo and Layla Harjo played their hearts out and kept us in the game with their effort and intensity,” LHS head coach Jeff Dickson said. “I am proud of all the kids, but those two really stood out.”

LHS (0-2) will be back in action next Thursday when it hosts Junction City. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Lawrence 13 8 11 10 — 42

Manhattan 10 14 12 18 — 54

Lawrence (42)

Hailey Ramirez 6, Layla Harjo 16, Lucy Hardy 1, Serenity Keo 12. Morgann Haaga 2, Azura Clark 5.

Manhattan (54)

Destiny Yates 11, Taylor Claussen 6, Gillian Awbrey 2, Avery Larson 13, Emery Ruliffson 7, Paige Chauncey 3, Grace Dixon 12.

photo by: Photo courtesy of Mac Moore/Courier Tribune

Free State junior guard Cooper Jackson shoots a 3-pointer over Liberty senior forward Kellen Goodwin during a basketball game Saturday, Dec. 5 at Liberty HIgh School in Liberty, Mo.

Liberty 72, Free State boys 67

Free State’s boys basketball team fell to 1-1 on the year after a 72-67 road loss to Liberty Saturday afternoon.

One day after a 41-point win in the season opener, the Firebirds went back-and-forth for four quarters with a talented Blue Jays squad. Liberty jumped out to a 22-15 lead in the opening period, but FSHS pulled back within a 36-32 margin at the intermission.

The Blue Jays, who had a pair of 20-point performances, made enough plays in the second half to hold on for the win. Javion Byers led the way with a game-high 24 points for Liberty, while Bennett Stirtz poured in 23 points to create a nice one-two punch.

Free State had three players record double figures in the loss. Junior Cooper Jackson led the team with 21 points, while junior Mozae Downing finished with 14 points. Junior Jailen Thompson ended up with 12 points.

It means that three players have finished in doubles figures in back-to-back games for FSHS. More than that, though, six different players have now posted double-digit outings through two games after Dash Cleveland, Cole Wheeler and Kris Daniels all did so in the season-opening victory over Raytown South.

Free State (1-1) will travel to Shawnee Mission South on Tuesday for its first Sunflower League battle of the season.

photo by: Photo courtesy of Mac Moore/Courier Tribune

Free State junior guard Mozae Downing dribbles the ball up the floor during a basketball game Saturday, Dec. 5 at Liberty HIgh School in Liberty, Mo.

Free State (67)

Kris Daniels 4, Mozae Downing 14, Jailen Thompson 12, Cole Wheeler 8, Andrew Piper 8, Cooper Jackson 21.

Liberty (72)

Ruben Mendoza 3, Addison Smith 2, Javion Byers 24, Bennett Stirtz 23, Luke Stubbs 7, Kellen Goodwin 7, Javin Shaw 6.

Free State 15 17 14 21 — 67

Liberty 22 14 15 21 — 72

Blue Valley Northwest 44, Free State girls 42

Free State’s girls basketball team suffered a 44-42 loss at Blue Valley Northwest on Saturday.

The hard-fought road loss was not only the season opener, but it was the first game under first-year head coach Chris Linner. Linner actually was an assistant for the past two seasons at Blue Valley Northwest before taking over the Free State program this past summer.

Evy Harrell and Anna McIntire each finished with 12 points to lead the Firebirds in scoring. Shannon Clarke, who is committed to play Division I basketball at the Naval Academy, netted nine points in the opener.

Free State (0-1) will travel to Shawnee Heights at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Free State (42)

Evy Harrell 12, Shannon Clarke 9, Robin Todd 2, Daeci Jaillite-Walker 5, Thayu Kimori 2, Anna McIntire 12.

Free State 7 13 6 16 — 42

Blue Valley Northwest 6 14 10 14 — 44


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