Third-quarter run allows Leavenworth to end three-game slide

Here and there, the flashes are obvious.
Three passes and a lay-up. A hard half-court trap leading to a steal and easy bucket. A perfectly executed give-and-go.
The signs of improvement from the Leavenworth girls’ basketball team are beginning to show, according to coach Derek Zeck.
“We are getting better,” the first-year Lady Pioneer coach said. “You could see some of the improvement and it’s just going to take some time. We need to be patient, but I fully believe in the end we can be something special.”
Those positive signals were evident Wednesday, as were some growing pains, when Leavenworth kicked aside a three-game losing streak by beating DeSoto 49-44.
“I was really happy with our defense right up until the end of the game,” Zeck said. “We let them get back into it, but that is just another sign of our youth and inexperience. Again, we showing signs of getting better, but we still have a lot to work on.”
Inconsistency plagued both teams in the first half. Neither squad could find a rhythm offensively while turnovers and fouls piled up for both.
By halftime the score sat at 16-15 DeSoto.
Early in the third Leavenworth recaptured the lead and midway through the period began to find a rhythm. A 10-2 run allowed the home team to build a double-digit advantage, and it took a 35-28 edge into the fourth.
While the final period continued a similar course, somewhere the tide began to shift. Slowly, DeSoto chipped away at the Pioneer lead and in the final minute, cut the deficit to a single possession several times.
However, the ladies in blue proved to be clutch from the free throw line and secured the five-point win.
Tashia Jones led the team with 15 points followed by Destinee Robinson’s 10, Rashayla Mathis’ nine and Tyler Johnson’s seven. Rachel Blackburn and Emma Zeck both added four.
Leavenworth, 2-3, will play at Topeka Monday at 7:30 p.m.