For the second-straight game, the Lansing boys’ basketball team found itself trailing in the second quarter.
Yet, for the second straight game, the Lions rallied to victory. Facing Holton in the semifinals of the 54th Annual Tonganoxie Invitational, Lansing rolled to a 51-40 win Friday.
“It was a game we definitely had to come out and be tough because they were a physical team,” Lions coach Rod Briggs said. “We took a pretty good shot from them in the first half as they hit a lot of open shots. We had a really good end to the first half and an extended run through the beginning of the second half, which was really the difference the rest of the game.”
Jump starting that comeback was Roy Clayter, who jumped in front of a pass and went coast to coast for a one-handed dunk early in the second quarter.
The Lions went on to finish the period on a 7-0 run to take a 25-24 halftime advantage.
The streak continued into the third quarter where Lansing extended its lead to 40-30. Holton fought back in the fourth, cutting the deficit down to four points, but never got closer than that.
“I’ve never played in this championship game in this tournament and it feels good to get there finally,” Lion forward Clay Young said. “I think we’re going to come out pretty strong and play like we’re capable of, which we have in these last two games, and hopefully get a championship tomorrow.”
Joe Schneider led Lansing in scoring with 18 points while Clayter had 12 and Donate Gibson had eight.
The Lions improved to 10-1 on the season and will play Blue Valley Southwest in the tournament’s final at 6:30 p.m. tonight.
Pioneers’ come up short in upset
A doomed second half ended Leavenworth’s modest winning streak and took them out of contention in the Ralph Miller Classic Friday.
Facing state stalwart Emporia, the Spartans hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter to pull away. The deficit stretched in the fourth quarter to an 84-68 final score.
“We tried to take away their inside game by going zone in the second half, but that allowed them to kill us with outside shots,” Leavenworth coach Larry Hogan said.
The Pioneers will play Shawnee Heights at 5:15 p.m. today for a chance to take third in the tournament. Emporia, now 8-1, will face Andover Central, 8-2, in the championship.
Coming in on a three-game winning streak, Leavenworth played even with the Spartans in the first half despite Emporia’s control of the lane. It was tied at 14 at the end of the first quarter, and locked at 31 going into halftime.
Page 2 of 2 - When Hogan went to zone to stop them inside, Emporia’s shooters locked in from beyond the arc, allowing Spartan guard Jackson Perez to score 30 on the night.
“I see why they were ranked so high,” Hogan said.
Any comeback hopes were dashed when Leavenworth missed four driving lay-ups early in the fourth.
“They weren’t exactly easy shots, but we needed to make them,” Hogan said.
Trey Adkins had another big game with 18 points for Leavenworth. Grant Lang added 17 and Cameron Wiggins had six.
“They focused on Cameron, and we didn’t do a good job at getting him the ball,” Hogan said.
After the third-place game today against Shawnee Heights, Leavenworth, now 6-4, will resume regular season play at Hayden Tuesday.
Rams’ slide hits seven
The Pleasant Ridge boys’ basketball team sustained its seventh-straight loss Friday.
Facing Chapman in the second round of the Royal Valley Tournament, the Rams suffered a 53-19 defeat.
“It was the same old, same old,” PR coach Sean Murphy said. “It was just bad from the start. We couldn’t buy anything offensively. We are still looking for a spark.”
Pleasant Ridge, 1-9, will face Wabaunsee today at 1:30 p.m.