LHS boys can’t overcome early setback in loss to Olathe West

Olathe West senior guard Cougar Downing (2) and LHS senior forward Mayson Quartlebaum (15) jump for the opening tip. LHS fell to Olathe West 72-65 on Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Olathe — It didn’t take long for Lawrence High boys basketball to readjust the game plan.

Less than two minutes into the game, senior forward Mayson Quartlebaum went down with a rolled ankle. He’d sit out for the remainder of the first quarter, checking back in at the 6:43 mark of the second quarter.

“It hurt a little bit having Mayson go down early,” LHS coach Mike Lewis said. “That throws a little bit of a tweak into what we’re trying to accomplish. But I thought our guys bounced back nicely after that and we had some guys step up and play well tonight.”

Amidst that early setback, LHS fell to Olathe West 73-65 on Tuesday. Junior guard Zeke Mayo led the way for the Lions with 14 points.

“It was the defensive breakdowns that cost us,” Lewis said. “It was some pretty fast-twitch defensive rotations that we were slow-twitch. And they dump it and score, and there you go.”

As for Quartlebaum, with his brief appearance in the second quarter, finished with 3 points. He later had his ankle taped and sat out the entire second half.

Even with Quartlebaum sidelined, the Lions (3-3, 1-1 Sunflower League) still maintained their composure offensively. When Olathe West wanted to push the tempo, LHS was there to calm things down with a 3-pointer from Mayo or senior guard Valdez White. LHS still trailed 20-16 at the end of the first quarter.

However, the Lions stormed back in the second quarter to cut the lead to 27-25. LHS relied on outside shooting and senior guard Ruben Littlehead’s defense.

“I thought we took pretty good shots,” Lewis said. “We still have room to improve obviously, but from a point total we scored enough to win. We just didn’t play good enough defense to win.”

But the Owls fought back, with Olathe West senior forward Matt Eastman scoring 7 points in the quarter. Olathe West led 36-29 at halftime.

“They had a good balanced attack and I thought their forwards played into space and we didn’t pick up on it,” Lewis said.

Coming out of the break, the Lions switched to a press defense which initially caused some confusion in the Olathe West backcourt. The Owls recovered, jumping back out to a 48-38 lead and forcing an LHS timeout.

LHS continued to chip away at the lead, though, with the Lions trailing 53-47 at the end of the third quarter.

And the Lions continued to wreak havoc defensively, cutting the lead 53-52 and forcing an Olathe West timeout thanks to the backcourt pressure of LHS.

“It was aggressive, we were playing our press well,” Lewis said. “It was leading to some turnovers. Again, we couldn’t quite (enough) stops and they were able to maintain their lead.”

Later in the quarter, LHS managed to cut the lead to 64-61. But Mayo picked up his fourth foul and Olathe West continued to find ways to get a basket and cling to the lead. Even with a furious comeback from LHS, it wasn’t quite enough to pick up the road win.

Lewis reminded his team after the game that it’s still early in the season and not to “let this linger.” Even with Quartlebaum going down early, Lewis was proud of how his team responded.

“We came in with the mindset that we have good depth,” Lewis said. “But (Quartlebaum’s) a big piece to our puzzle and he’s a bit harder to replace with his size and what he can do. We made some adjustments and gave ourselves a chance. We just couldn’t quite get over the hump.”

LHS will next face Shawnee Mission West on Friday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

Lawrence High (65)

Zeke Mayo 6-16 0-0 14, Gannon Hill 4-7 0-0 12, Bryce Johnson 3-7 5-6 11, Peyton Mallory 3-5 3-3 9, Ruben Littlehead 3-6 0-0 8, Valdez White 2-3 0-0 6, Mayson Quartlebaum 1-4 0-0 3, Ethan Bentzinger 1-3 0-0 2, Willie Dotson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-53 8-9 65.

Olathe West (73)

Carter Lichtsinn 7-8 0-0 16, Austin Hashagen 6-7 3-3 15, Cougar Downing 3-7 6-6 14, Sam Nicodemus 4-7 1-2 11, Matt Eastman 3-3 1-2 7, Tommy Faseru 2-6 3-7 7, Jon Jenkins 1-1 0-0 2 Aidan Sturdivan 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 26-42 15-21 73.

Lawrence High 16 13 18 18 — 65

Olathe West 20 16 17 20 — 73

3-point field goals: Lawrence High 11-26 (Mayo, Hill, White, Littlehead, Quartlebaum); Olathe West 6-14 (Nicodemus, Downing, Lichtsinn). Turnovers: Lawrence High 8, Olathe West 10.


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