Leavenworth needed a play. Hanging onto a three-point lead with a minute left, the Pioneers had cooled off and were turning it over.
Good teams like Olathe South take that second of air and make you pay. But at just the right time, Cameron Wiggins said no.
The thrashing guard flew emphatically into the lane and made an acrobatic lay-up to put Leavenworth up five and effectively put the game away 66-62 in favor of Leavenworth.
The game looked like it could get lopsided early on. South shot lights-out in the first quarter and vaulted to an 18-10 lead. But senior Jeff George caught fire in the second quarter.
"He grew up playing as a guard, but we've had to use him in the post because of who we have," LHS coach Larry Hogan said. "With the guys we had out tonight, George was back in his old spot."
With a halftime buzzer-beater by George, Leavenworth grabbed a 36-29 heading into the third quarter.
The Falcons started making shots again in the third, but so did George. Through three quarters, the senior had 21 points, nearly half the team's total.
But added defensive attention and the fact that one can't stay hot forever opened the door for teammates when George's shots stopped falling.
"Down the stretch we had Acori Myrie playing shut-down defense and then Wiggins' shot was big," Hogan said.
The Pioneers will host Shawnee Mission North this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Raiders turn fortunes around
It looked like another loss early for the Immaculata boys' basketball team.
Yet behind a shining defensive performance and 17 points from Connor Schmidling, the Raiders rallied for a 36-30 win over Oskaloosa Tuesday.
"In the first quarter they ran us completely out of our gym," Imac coach Mike Connelly said. "In the second we showed more discipline and then in the second half we put a diamond and one defense on their leading scorer and held him to one point in the entire second half.
"That was really the key. The hard nose defense by Drew Sachen and Jarret McCall enabled us to shut their offense down."
Besides Schmidling's 17, Josh Boeppler added eight and Sean Murray four points. The Raiders, 2-5, will host Jackson Heights Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Lions suffer first loss
After winning its first seven games of the season, the Lansing boy's basketball team suffered its first taste of defeat Tuesday.
Traveling to Piper, the squad lost 62-55 to fall to 7-1 on the year.
"We fouled too much the first half and let that affect that us mentally," Lansing coach Rod Briggs said.
After leading 20-9 at the end of the first quarter, the Lions stumbled throughout most of the remaining three periods.
Page 2 of 2 - "In the second half we missed a lot of easy shots, and we just panicked and didn't defend like we have before this game," Briggs said.
Tied at 44 going into the fourth quarter, the teams went back and forth.
Unfortunately for the Lions, their inability to make free throws and three point shots cost them dearly.
Joe Schneider led Lansing in scoring with 11 points, followed by Lucas Mien with 10 points.
The Lions will look to get back on track at home against Basehor-Linwood Friday night at 7:15 p.m.
Rams play better in loss
Though the final score flashed 68-57 McLouth, Pleasant Ridge boys' basketball coach Sean Murphy saw light within the darkness of his team's fifth defeat of the season.
"I went 11 deep and I played everyone that worked their tail off over Christmas break," Murphy said. "We are really developing some chemistry and tonight the biggest thing was we played together."
The game was close throughout but ultimately the Rams couldn't find enough offense to pull out the win. Adam Patterson led the team in scoring with 13 points. PR, 1-5, will play at Maur-Hill Friday at 7:30 p.m.
"We can't be a one-man show," Murphy said. "It takes sharing the sugar, stopping the ball and hustle. That is what you want to see as a coach and that happened tonight. For being a loss, we took a big step forward."