Aggressive defense leads Leavenworth over Lansing; Pleasant Ridge squads, Immaculata girls have seasons go dark

Sand is created by a straightforward process.

It's real simple. Over time, rocks are worn down by wind and water. These surrounding elements put enough pressure on the stones that eventually they pulverized them into tiny particles.

On Wednesday, the Lady Pioneers basketball team used that same science to take down a rival.

Opening its substate bracket by hosting Lansing, Leavenworth applied an enormous amount of pressure on its visitors.

Whether through its full-court, trapping defense or by way of its non-stop, attacking offense, the home team rarely relented.

That effort was too much for the Lady Lions, evident by the game's final result — 57-30 in favor of LV.

“The first quarter we played phenomenal, minus not finishing,” Lady Pioneer coach Derek Zeck said. “I think we held them to zero points for the first six minutes or so and if we just could've finished more of our layups, we could've had a much bigger cushion.”

The game began strongly in Leavenworth's corner. Their attacking defense, which showcased full-court pressure, traps from all over and in-your-face man-to-man defense, did wonders.

Lansing had no answer to start and didn't score until two minutes left in the quarter. After those two minutes, the score sat at 12-3.

In the second, the Lady Lions began to find some footing, thanks to shots from Danielle Pendergraft and Morgan Bromell.

“I was happy how they continued to fight throughout the entire game,” Lansing coach Christine Robinson said. “We were down early and emotions were high, which makes sense for a matchup that never occurred before. But they hung in there and fought, which I was most proud of.”

Still, despite that effort, the LV edge grew and at half the score rested at 27-11.

It was the third quarter that really blew open the game.

Leavenworth began making shots while the Lady Lions continued to struggle against the home team's defense.

By period's end, Leavenworth had scored 24 and was up 51-21. The team cruised to victory from there.

“Once we started to make the easy shots, the game started to open up,” Zeck said. “It was that simple. I was happy with how the girls did playing in an emotional game like this. It was a good sign.”

Rashayla Mathis led Leavenworth in scoring with 16 points while Tashia Jones added nine and Tyler Johnson put in seven.

Lansing saw Bromell and Pendergraft each record nine points while Kija Cammock chipped in seven. The Lady Lions finished the season 4-16.

Leavenworth, 13-8, will travel to Topeka Seaman Friday for its substate final. Win that 7 p.m. contest, and the team is headed to state.

Ridge seasons both go dark
Playing at different sites, the Pleasant Ridge basketball teams suffered the same fates Wednesday.

In the opening round of substate, the Ridge boys lost 69-28 at ACCHS, while the Lady Rams fell 43-30 in Sabetha.

“I want to thank the seniors for their leadership this season,” PR boys' coach Sean Murphy said. “To their credit, Adam Patterson, Nick Reckers and Teddy Pekrul really preserved. This season was about gaining experience based on our youthful roster and we did that.”

Versus ACCHS, the unbeaten home team (20-0) wasted little time gaining the upper hand.

At the end of the first quarter, ACCHS was up 19-3 and then 36-11 at half.

Sean Spurlock had six points to lead PR, as did Kyle Jones, while Adam Patterson and Jagar Haack each had four.

The Rams finished the season 1-18.

“We have nine lettermen returning next year and I believe they are hungry to get our program to a different level,” Murphy said. “But we must improve from March to November, not the other way around.”

For the Pleasant Ridge girls, a bad start was nearly wiped clean after a quality second quarter.

“We got down 10 early, but played well to fight back,” PR girls' coach Mike Koontz said. “We just didn't play a full 32 minutes and came out flat to start the third. That really was the key.”

By half, PR had cut its deficit to six.

Yet, like Koontz mentioned, a poor offensive third quarter rebuilt the team's disadvantage, from which it never recovered.

“It wasn't a consistent effort throughout and that is what did us in,” Koontz said.
Ashten Langley finished with 11 points, followed by Jordan Adams with eight and Kelsey

Carpenter had six. PR finished the season 10-9.

Lady Raiders’ season ends at Valley Falls
Wednesday did not start well for the Immaculata girls' basketball team.

Opening its substate bracket against Valley Falls, the Lady Raiders found themselves down 11-0 out of the gates. From there, the team tried to rally but couldn't, losing 54-21.

“Once we settled in, we played better and cut the lead to 10 at half,” Imac coach Terry Jordan said. “But we only put up five third quarter points and they pounded us inside to blow the game open.”

Immaculata didn't have an answer for Falls' inside presence, which eventually wore down the visitors.

The Lady Raiders finished the year 5-16.

“I like our future,” Jordan said. “We only lose two seniors and bring back a good nucleus, so for me, the upcoming years look bright.”