After poor start, Leavenworth rallies to earn spot in CNB final; Lansing blows out Topeka Seaman while Immaculata gets rolled by Horton

Leavenworth coach Larry Hogan was livid near the end of the first quarter.
The Pioneers boys’ basketball team, down 12-2 against Topeka and coughing up turnovers left and right, listened in to their venerable coach during the time out.
“You just wasted eight minutes,” Hogan yelled. “There’s still time to get back in. Are you ready to go?”
It turns out the Pioneers were, and they capped off a huge comeback win to prove it. After that first quarter timeout, Leavenworth outscored Topeka 62-43 the rest of the way to score a 64-55 win.
“Give these guys praise, they got a huge win tonight,” Hogan said after the game.
Leavenworth will face Hogan Prep tonight at 5:15 p.m. for the CNB Tournament championship.
After slowly starting to chip away in the second quarter, the Pioneers exploded in the third. Cameron Wiggins kept getting open outside and put in 14 of his team-leading 25 points in the period.
A trap defense at half court forced consecutive turnovers and easy buckets at the other end.
“They [Topeka] were having some trouble with our trap,” Hogan said. “We played some good defense there.”
Leavenworth cut the deficit down to four heading into the fourth quarter. At the start of the period, Wiggins hit another 3-pointer, followed by a Trey Atkins off-the-backboard 3-pointer that finally put Leavenworth on top, 50-49.
They didn’t look back. With a three-point lead and one minute to go, Atkins got fouled on consecutive possessions. He hit all four free-throws to ice it.
After Wiggins’ 25 points, Atkins scored 14, including a 7-7 night at the free throw line. Acori Myrie put in 10 points in a game in which he played all 32 minutes.
“He was on the boards all night, offensively and defensively,” Hogan said.
“We’ve got Hogan Prep tomorrow, we’ll just come in the morning for the shoot around, look at the scouting report, and be ready to go,” Myrie said.

Lions cruise in home opener
One thing is for sure — Lansing’s Roy Clayter isn’t bashful, at least on the basketball court.
Playing in his first ever home game as a Lion Friday, the senior transfer showcased a pair of jaw-dropping dunks, each coming within 60 seconds of each other.
The slams served as exclamation marks to an impressive Lansing opener. The Lions spanked visiting Topeka Seaman 66-36.
“After our really slow start, we started playing better,” Lansing coach Rod Briggs said. “I looked at the score and we were down 16-7 and then in the third quarter it dawned on me that it was 55-28, so we just kind of exploded.”
After a horrible start, Lansing roared back to take a 32-21 lead into the half. The home team did that by outscoring Seaman 25-5 in the second quarter.
“I think we relaxed and quit turning the ball over,” Briggs said. “We came out a little too hyped and tried to do too much. Once we relaxed and started playing together and getting a rhythm offensively, we started to play better defensively.”
In the third, Clayter helped the Lions blow open the contest. Following a steal and easy bucket, Clayter found himself flying through the air the next possession. His four-step, one-handed jam came over a contesting Viking and put the already active crowd into a frenzy.
Less than 60 seconds later, Donte Gibson collected a Seaman turnover and raced towards an uncontested lay-up. Instead of taking the points, the guard kissed the ball off the backboard to a trailing Clayter, who powered home the jam.
The crowd went loco, the fight left the Vikings and Lansing ran away to the 30-point win.
“I think it hypes up the crowd, but you can’t rely totally on that stuff,” the Lansing coach said of the dunks. “It’s fun though. He can jump out of the gym.”
Zac Jackson led the team with 18 points while Joe Schneider added 16. Gibson and Clay Young each had nine points and Lucas Mein chipped in six. Clayter finished with four and Khalil Bailey and Joe Henry had a basket a piece.
Lansing, 3-0, will host Lawrence Free State tonight at 7:15 p.m.

Horton powers past Immaculata
From the first whistle, the Immaculata boys’ basketball team had its troubles with Horton Friday.
The Raiders scrambled to find its footing in the ball game but by half, faced a double-digit deficit. Though the team tried to rally throughout the third and fourth quarters, it was to no avail as Imac succumbed to a 66-40.
“We couldn’t stop them inside,” Raiders coach Mike Connelly said. “They got a lot of easy baskets. We made a couple of runs later in the game, but every time they answered with runs of their own.”
Immaculata had just four register points — Sean Murray put in 22, Connor Goetz had eight, as did Danny Boisson, and Jarret McCall two.
“Horton executed real well offensively,” Connelly said. “They had a big kid inside and we didn’t have an answer for him. They hit some threes, got out in transition and every time we got back into it, they would just pull away again.”
The Raiders, 0-2, will host St. Mary’s at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.