Pioneer girls hold on, boys fall; Area scores/roundup
A new era of girls' basketball commenced Friday night for the host Leavenworth High program and it could easily be recognized as a whole different look and state of play.
It was not the smoothest game, but it was a season opener and not just a typical, typical opener either.
This is Leavenworth.
The Pioneers shook off a tough start, rolled to a nice lead and held on for a 46-43 win over a veteran Topeka Seaman squad to open the Derek Bissitt coaching era at LVHS with a win.
Freshman Alisha Jones led LVHS with 13 points, Alyche Brown added 11 points and Cierra Robinson added 10 points as they overcame 4-for-13 free throw shooting.
“It wasn’t beautiful, especially to start off with, I was a little nervous because we took some punches in the face,” LVHS coach Derek Bissitt said. “(Seaman) played a lot of young kids last year that won 14-15 games last year and we are going to get peoples’ best shot. We responded really well. We dug in on defense and that’s going to have to be our calling card.
“I was really proud of our kids for that.”
The first quarter was anything but a smooth exercise in basketball execution for the
Pioneers, but the one thing still have is the program's trademark grit and hustle and it paid off as the first quarter saw them build some momentum to trail 16-12 after eight minutes.
Then two midrange jumpers by post McKenzie Brown tied the game at 16-all a minute into the second quarter as the interior player flashed some newly minted long-range chops.
“It was ugly in the beginning and it was ugly at the end,” Brown said. “We may have had some bad practices, but we pulled it together. We were down 11-3, but the people that are new had to dig down deep and we had to have a family environment. We do what we do…and our defense. We had to do what we needed to do. Everyone locked in together.
“(Her midrange game) is not new found and ever since freshman year (she was encouraged to shoot). Today she got off of me and so ’smack, smack.’ I’ve gotten smarter, so I just did my thing.
Then a steal and layup by freshman Saniyah Hammonds and a 3-bomb by Cierra Robinson propelled LVHS into a 21-16 edge a minute later.
They were able to bump that edge to as many as 10 points before settling for a pleasing 29-22 halftime edge despite a few too many turnovers for comfort.
Things continued to stay at equilibrium as neither team could really gain more control on the contest and LVHS led 38-32 as the fourth quarter invited them both to join.
Alyche Brown tallied a sweet and-one score early in the period and the lead mushroomed to 43-32 as clock ticks lessened as zeroes moved onto the horizon.
Yet, those early season jitters rolled in and the Vikings scrapped back to pull within 45-41 with 113 seconds left in the game.
It got a little nervy at the end as free throws were the Pioneers' best friend, but they had enough in the tank to hold on for the win.
Pioneer boys flattened in opener
It definitely wasn’t the way the Leavenworth boys wanted to state its intentions of what they expect to bring to a new season.
Taking on a solid, Topeka Seaman squad, the Pioneers got run out early and then never could recover after halftime in a 53-38 loss to the Vikings.
Nathan Dalby led LVHS with 18 points, while Tah-Ji Pinch added eight points in his first game back in over a year.
“We work hard in practice doing a lot of things and then get to the game and don’t do any of them,” LVHS head coach Larry Hogan said. “It’s very frustrating when you have a team of that many seniors coming back and we don’t play team basketball. We don’t execute the way we need to play to win games.
“We hurried and panicked on the offensive end and on defense we got outhustled. We got to toughen up and we need to play team basketball.”
The Leavenworth High boys came out full of energy, too much of the nervous variety and Seaman, who bounced the Pioneers heavily a year ago at this time, led 16-6 after the first quarter and took a shockingly easy, 35-10 edge into the intermission.
Leavenworth did find its offense in the second half as they trimmed the deficit down to low, double-digits with some nice shots from outside, but Seaman never allowed their edge to be threatened.
“He started playing more of his bench and kept it between 15-20 and they were never in danger of losing that game,” Hogan said. “I am disappointed because I feel they are capable of doing much more.”
BASEHOR-LINWOOD 89, Bishop Ward 37
Jacob Coleman scored 23 points to lead a Bobcat rout in the season opener.
“We played very hard and we came out a bit flat,” BLHS head coach Michael McBride said.
BLHS shot 40 free throws in a contest marred by fouls.
PLEASANT RIDGE 56, Oskaloosa 49
The Rams opened up with a win on the road at Oskaloosa behind 12-point performances by Breydon Baragary and Noah Trader while Dayton Flack added 11 points.
“We got off to a good start in the first quarter, but cold shooting allowed the Bears to tie the game,” PRHS head coach Pat Battle said. “The second half was back-and-forth and we gained a slight lead heading into the fourth quarter. A key defensive stops and clutch free throw shooting down the stretch enabled us to win.”
Bonner Springs 89, LANSING 57
No information was provided by coaching staff.
BASEHOR-LINWOOD 62, Bishop Ward 30
The Bobcat girls opened the season in easy fashion with a resounding home win.
“We did not shoot the ball at a high percentage, but that did not stop us from crashing the boards and being relentless until we scored,” BLHS head coach Jason Tatkenhorst said.
Katie Yankovich led the way for BLHS with 14 points while Libby Stallbaumer added 13 points and Riley Tinder with 10 points.
PLEASANT RIDGE 49, Oskaloosa 37
The Rams got 20 points from Lindsey Heim and 15 points from Julie Miller to pull away for an opening night win over the Bears.
“You could tell it was definitely the first game of the season,” Rams’ head coach Mike Koontz said. “We wanted to make passes that were not there and struggled to find a rhythm offensively in the first half. When we pounded the ball inside we were able to get some consistency.”
LANSING 55, Bonner Springs 29
No other information was made available.