Mixed results from area teams
Say one of a million things about the Lansing Lions' girls' basketball team and one item that can be added to the list is that they certainly have learned how to take care of business.
Friday night the Lions came out shooting at a blistering and confident pace and rode that momentum to a big lead out of the gates before settling for a systematic, 70-40 rout of Turner.
The Lions (13-5, 8-2) were led by Gerenda Smith’s 20 points, Regan Gatson added 13 points, Taylor Lang poured in 11 points and Kenadee Sommerla pitched in with eight points.
“We came out and played all right, but we still play in spurts,” Lansing head coach KC Simmons said. “We still need to put 32 minutes together. We have to play a complete game and not play in spurts which you can’t be doing this time of year.”
It was also senior night as Megan Ernzen, Gatson and Sommerla were honored after the win.
“They have all together, really positive leadership and really inspire us to work hard and want to work hard and make it fun to be here,” junior Kennedy Farris said of her team’s seniors. “Me, being my first year playing with them, it’s been like a journey and it’s sad it’s going to come to an end (soon). They are about hustle. If you put all three of them together, they are probably the hardest working people on and off the floor.”
Lansing's shooting can sometimes be miss more than hit, but Friday night they were on fire from the get go and it was all make after make.
“Shooting is a mental thing - you see your teammate make one and you think you can do the same thing,” Simmons said. “If you see it go in one time and sometimes it opens up the flood gates. It’s more mental than physical. All kids in general are battling confidence issues day in, day out and we try to keep it positive. They need to be positive and leave the negativity to me. Being up 10 early in the game relieved some of the pressure.”
The Lions broke out to a scintillating 39-20 first half lead scoring at will from anywhere on the court.
That pace slowed a bit, but Simmons substituted a bit more and the mercy clock ran for most of the fourth quarter as Lansing soared to the easy win and the season sweep of Turner.
“We are just making sure and focus what we do and not what they are,” Farris said of the team’s business-like approach to teams they are favored to beat. “We aren’t thinking our jersey says Lansing and there’s says Turner, so we are going to beat them. We have to play every game as hard as we can.”
OTHER GIRLS’ GAMES
LEAVENWORTH 55, Shawnee Mission East 36 – Led by freshman Aleshia Jones’ 21-point performance, the Pioneers moved to 9-9 overall and 4-7 in Sunflower League play while ending a two-game skid Friday night.
“In the second half we played better physically and mentally and cleaned some things up and got better,” LVHS head coach Derek Bissitt said.
BASEHOR-LINWOOD 54, Bonner Springs 49 – Adell and Carly Gore had 17 and nine points apiece and Katie Yankovich added nine points for the victors.
“We felt like we did a lot of things well tonight,” BLHS head coach Jason Tatkenhorst said. “Our opponent kept hanging around and we could not quite put them away but we will take the league victory.”
Horton 66, PLEASANT RIDGE 51 – No other information was made available.
Lansing boys’ defense not enough in low-scoring defeat
All the Lansing High boys wanted was to see a complete game on the defensive end heading into Friday's game against Turner, a team they lost to 68-66 in controversial fashion back in December.
Well, the Lions got a better defensive performance if not the best to be expected, but the offense struggled to join the party and they found themselves trailing 23-19 by halftime.
Before it was all over, the Lions had themselves in position to win, before a later Turner burst would secure a 53-48 win at the Lions’ expense.
Lansing fell to 5-13 overall and 4-6 in the KVL.
“We played sporadic defense, but not from start to finish,” Lansing head coach Mark McQuillan said. “If you commit to defense it makes up for inaccuracies on offense. We have to understand that we have to go back and stop people on defense. We are inconsistent. There are times where we are phenomenal at defense and also on offense. Usually when you watch the two - they go hand-in-hand.
“Some possessions that you saw, when we weren’t playing defense, we would go on offense and take quick shots and not be in a rhythm. We didn’t finish through contact and missed some point-blank shots that got us down, I think.”
Lansing got things going after the intermission break, especially on the offensive end, starting the third quarter on a 14-5 run to go up 33-28 thanks to some big shooting by Konner McQuillan, Caleb Adams and Logan Barnhard.
The lead got as high as six points and Lansing would head into the final quarter up 37-36 as a late, rainmaking three by Tuner made things tight once again.
Turner forged back into the lead on a layup with three minutes left to go ahead 47-44 and they would hold on for the win.
OTHER BOYS’ GAMES
Shawnee Mission East 64, LEAVENWORTH 44 – The Pioneers committed 18 turnovers and were out rebounded 25-15 in a loss to East.
LVHS (5-13, 4-7) were down six with five minutes to play before missing five consecutive free throws as East wrapped the game on a 14-2 run.
Tah-ji Pinch and Zach Thiel led LVHS with 17 and 15 points respectively.
BASEHOR-LINWOOD 64, Bonner Springs 55 – ∫No other information was made available.
PLEASANT RIDGE 56, Horton 33 — No other information was made available.