LHS girls can’t overcome early deficit in 50-37 loss to Olathe Northwest

Lawrence High girls basketball huddles before tip-off. LHS defeated Blue Valley Northwest 54-47 on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Lawrence High girls basketball coach Jeff Dickson says his team is one that prides itself on playing hard, but he doesn’t feel like the Lions lived up to that in the first half on Tuesday.

That came back to bite Lawrence, as Olathe Northwest built a 20-point first-half lead and held off LHS in the second half to hand the Lions a 50-37 home loss Tuesday night.

“We didn’t come out the way we needed to,” Dickson said. “They hit three or four threes and we hung our heads a little bit. They are a senior-dominated team and came out with a lot of energy. They had lost a couple of close ones in a row, and I thought they came out and put it on us a bit.”

Freshman Amaya Marshall led Lawrence (3-4, 1-2 Sunflower League) with 10 points, while Olathe Northwest junior Holly McCormick scored a game-high 13 points.

Olathe Northwest (4-4, 1-4) opened the game on fire, draining five of its first 10 from beyond the arc to take a 22-10 lead after one quarter. It was a dribble-drive and offensive rebounding onslaught by the Ravens to build that lead. It also helped saddle Lawrence’s leading scorer, Ozi Ajekwu, with two fouls.

Less than one minute into the second quarter, Ajekwu picked up her third foul and was forced to the bench for the remainder of the half. She eventually fouled out in the third quarter after scoring 6 points.

Olathe Northwest took advantage by way of a 10-2 spurt to take a 32-12 lead in the second quarter.

“She’s one of the best post players in the Sunflower League and in the state,” Dickson said of Ajekwu. “Everybody knows if they can get her in foul trouble, that’s going to help them.”

Still, the Lions didn’t go away, as they rattled off the final 7 points of the half capped by a baby hook from senior Ella Stewart to pull within 33-19.

The defensive effort was much better from Lawrence in the second half, as it held Olathe Northwest to 1-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Still, the closest the Lions got was nine, 42-33, on a basket from Marshall with 3:17 remaining.

The Ravens closed the door with strong free-throw shooting down the stretch.

“I thought we played really well in the second half,” Dickson said. “As they started to get tired we started getting revived. If you spot somebody in the Sunflower League that kind of lead, it’s hard to come back from that.”

Olathe Northwest 50, Lawrence 37

Olathe NW 22 11 8 8 — 50

Lawrence 10 9 9 9 — 37

Olathe NW (50)

Bre Geary 1-3 0-0 3, Joan Reiber 0-2 2-4 2, Manika Taddese 1-3 0-0 2, Mary Reiber 2-5 6-9 10, Liz Thomas 3-7 2-2 9, Riley Wade 2-4 5-8 11, Holly McCormick 4-12 2-4 13. Totals: 13-36 17-27 50.

Lawrence (37)

Amaya Marshall 3-5 4-8 10, Ella Stewart 1-4 3-6 5, Sophie DeWitt 1-4 0-0 2, Layla Harjo 2-9 0-0 5, Ozi Ajekwu 3-5 0-2 6, Serenity Keo 0-5 1-2 1, Paiden Bell 2-3 1-2 5, Hailey Ramirez 1-3 1-2 3. Totals: 13-38 10-22 37.

3-point goals: LHS 1-13 (Marshall 0-1, Stewart 0-2, DeWitt 0-2, Harjo 1-6, Keo 0-1, Bell 0-1); ONW 7-23 (Geary 1-2, Taddese 0-2, Reiber 0-2, Thomas 1-5, Wade 2-4, McCormick 3-8). Turnovers: LHS 14, ONW 15. Fouled out: Wade (ONW).


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