LHS girls get substate advantage in surprising OT thriller

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High senior Miri Pickman (left, white)) and Gardner Edgerton's Addisen Ratley (right, blue) get set for tipoff during a game on Feb. 23, 2024, at Lawrence High School.

Special doesn’t quite encapsulate Lawrence High girls basketball’s fiery finish in a 54-51 overtime win over Gardner Edgerton Friday on Senior Night.

LHS (12-8) finished the night just 9 of 21 from the free-throw line, but two crucial charity baskets by senior Azura Clark (nine points) made the difference in overtime, making up for the Lions’ nine consecutive misses from the stripe leading up to Clark’s game-sealing baskets with a little over three seconds remaining.

Seizing the moment on senior night, Destiny Savannah (16 points) was the leading force behind the Lions’ second-half comeback, sparking the fire with a 3-pointer seconds before the first half wrapped to pull LHS within a possession of the Trailblazers (7-13).

The job was getting done, one way or another, Savannah said.

“All our families were here and we didn’t want to be humiliated on a senior night,” Savannah said. “(LHS coach Jeff Dickson) says we never lose on Senior Night and we wanted to show up for everybody and prove to them we can make it.”

From the tipoff, however, the ballgame didn’t have the makings of an overtime thriller. LHS came out flat, shooting just 3 of 15 from the field in the first quarter and wrestling with the Trailblazers for nearly every rebound.

Eight first-quarter points by junior Emerson Holle and a 3-point bucket by junior Jaiden Jordan paved the way for an early 17-9 Gardner lead. Even with the help of junior Nyasia Ramos behind the arc, LHS still found itself trailing by 10 points with just 3:44 remaining in the first half.

Savannah built on a short run, burying a 3-point basket to get the Lions back within reach 22-18 at the break.

Still, LHS wasn’t the aggressor when both teams returned to the floor. The Trailblazers opened the third quarter with a 5-0 run and forced Dickson to burn a timeout right away.

“We just needed to step up to the adversity,” Savannah recalled about the timeout. “I didn’t feel too much pressure, I knew we were in it.”

The hard reset seemingly got through, as Savannah gifted the Lions three more 3-point baskets and freshman Cami Nauholz chipped in a 3 of her own to help LHS claim its first lead since the first quarter – now ahead 32-31 – headed into the fourth quarter.

Going nearly shot-for-shot with Gardner down the stretch, LHS fed off a 3-pointer by Cyrenity Hardy and held onto a four-point lead with just 1:47 remaining. The Blazers retied the knot at 46-46 late, and a late foul drawn by Hardy resulted in a 0 of 3 trip to the free-throw line with just 1.7 seconds remaining.

Picking up Hardy’s rebound, Gardner forced overtime with the Lions and built some momentum off a 3-pointer by senior Allison Jennings. Nauholz delivered five overtime points, including two shots at the free-throw line to keep things even leading up to Clark’s second foul of the overtime period.

At the line, Clark broke a streak of nine consecutive missed free throws to clinch the win.

With the win, the Lions secure home-court advantage in the opening round of substate next week. Seedings, matchups, and tipoff times will be released by KSHSAA soon.

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High freshman Cami Nauholz (14) and senior Delilah Barnes (10) defend a shot by Gardner Edgerton’s Addisen Ratley during a game on Feb. 23, 2024, at Lawrence High School.


LHS 7 11 14 14 OT 8 – 54

GEHS 19 3 9 15 OT 5 – 51

Lawrence High (54) Azura Clark 3-7 3-8 9; Miri Pickman 1-3 0-0 2; Destiny Savannah 5-11 2-3 16; Delilah Barnes 1-2 0-0 3; Cyrenity Hardy 2-9 1-4 7. Totals: 18-53 9-21 54.

Gardner-Edgerton (51) Emerson Holle 5-5 0-1 11; Addisen Ratley 0-3 1-2 1; Jaiden Jordan 1-3 2-2 5; Aaliyah Green 3-7 0-0 6; Landri Schaffer 5-18 0-2 11. Totals: 20-43 6-13 51.

3-point goals: LHS: 9-31 (); GEHS: 5-10 (). Turnovers: LHS 14, GEHS 12. Fouled Out: None.

LHS boys cap regular-season finale in style

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High senior Zaxton King goes up for a dunk during a home game against Gardner Edgerton on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, at Lawrence High School.

The Lawrence High boys basketball team completed its successful second half of the season with a 69-51 win over Gardner Edgerton Friday on Senior Night.

Six total Chesty Lions – Zaxton King, Winton Anderson, Gordon Fineday, Kem Allen, Tyson Grammer and Sean Wondrack – played their final regular-season game on the LHS gym floor.

Summarizing the moment, Fineday felt the sendoff was especially appropriate as the Lions finished the year winning seven of their last 10 matchups.

“It gives us a big boost because we’ve gone through a lot of trial and error,” Fineday said. “We’re really locking in and heating up at just the right time.”

King (16 points), sophomore Edward Roman Nose (16 points), and junior Avery Johnson (14 points) made the night especially meaningful, leading LHS (8-12) to a comfortable 27-point lead at the break. Senior Kem Allen (six points) added two big 3-point baskets down the stretch.

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High sophomore Edward Roman Nose smiles after hitting a 3-pointer during a home game against Gardner-Edgerton on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, at Lawrence High School.

Getting their first starts of the season, Anderson (five points) and Wondrack (two points) each contributed all night long, helping LHS hold the Trailblazers to just 18 of 33 shooting from the field.

Late in the game, Grammer checked in for his first varsity game of the season after recovering from a football-season foot injury. Fineday found Grammer on the corner for an open 3-pointer – the varsity quarterback and four-year hooper went for it.

“It’s really special because I’ve played basketball with these guys for much of my life,” Grammer said. “To spend one last time on our home floor with them was really special.”

Gardner senior Cooper Williams posted a team-high 13 points in the effort, backed by senior Colton Hawkinson (nine points) and junior Isaiah Williams (six points) throughout the contest.

LHS now awaits its substate seeding, which will likely send coach Nick Wood and his Lions on the road in the opening round.


LHS 13 24 14 18 – 69

GEHS 5 5 19 22 – 51

Lawrence High (69) Zaxton King 6-12 4-5 16; Winton Anderson 2-3 0-0 5; Gordon Fineday 0-3 0-0 -; Kem Allen 2-4 0-0 6; Sean Wondrack 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 26-45 6-8 69.

Gardner Edgerton (51) Cooper Williams 4-6 1-2 13; Vaughn Pemberton 0-2 0-0 -; Gunnar Kyle 1-4 2-2 4; Malachi Parks 1-3 1-1 4; Colton Hawkinson 3-5 3-5 9. Totals: 18-33 9-12 51.

3-point goals: LHS: 11-23 (); GEHS: 6-15 (). Turnovers: LHS 9, GEHS 14. Fouled Out: None.

Final scores from other area hoops action:

Bishop Seabury boys 78, Onaga 26 — A 30-point performance by sophomore Jace Hoffman and a triple-double by junior Chase Honarvar (16 points, 11 blocks and 13 rebounds) cruised the Seahawks (15-4) past Onaga in the opening round of substate on Tuesday. Seabury meets Burlingame (14-6) next Thursday, Feb. 29, at Highland-Doniphan West. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

Free State boys 50, Shawnee-Mill Valley 68

Free State girls 11, Shawnee Mission Northwest 68

Eudora High boys 58, Hayden Catholic 56

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High sophomore Josh Galbreath (21) looks for an open pass during a home game against Gardner Edgerton on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, at Lawrence High School.

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Gardner Edgerton senior Braedyn Berg (14) finds an open shot away from Lawrence High’s Banks Bowen (4) and Zaxton King (2) during a game on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, at Lawrence High School.


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