Whistles stymie Raiders while Lansing wins to go to 14-1; Leavenworth's skid continues as does Pleasant Ridge

There's no question the whistle played a big role late in Tuesday's down-to-the-wire Immaculata loss.
The crowd wondered aloud if the officials "forgot their glasses" (that was on the tame side) after four fouls were called on the Raiders in the last two minutes. Two of the fouls were offensive, giving the ball back to Troy, who held just a two-point lead.
Moments later, that became a four-point loss — 36-32.
"In a tight game like that you want every call to go your way, so you're going to complain," Raiders boys' basketball coach Mike Connelly said. "I thought the officiating was good."
The wasted possessions were indeed costly. By the time Immaculata had a clean possession, they needed a basket with the clock winding down. However, Sean Murray's 3-pointer for the lead went off the side of the rim.
Following another Imac foul, Troy made both free throws to go up four and take the 36-32 win.
In the third quarter, the Raiders battled back after a lackluster first half. Its defense created offense in the second half.
"We didn't give them many easy shots," Connelly said. "They don't shoot a high percentage from three so we didn't mind giving them the long shots."
In the fourth, Connelly often went from a 2-3 zone to a 1-3-1 trap. The scheme worked, as Imac produced multiple turnovers.
But that didn't completely fix the offense so when the Raiders weren't getting quick offense off of turnovers, the scoring suffered.
"We missed a lot of open shots and free throws," said Connelly. "We shot five of 12 from the free throw line, and lost the game by four."
The loss marks four in a row for Imac, now 5-10 on the year. They play Jefferson County North Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Lions flex muscles in win

After a slow start Tuesday, the Lansing boys' basketball team got its groove back in the middle of a defensive battle.
Though it wasn't the most impressive outing by the Lions, it got the job done with a 51-29 win over Bonner Springs. The performance was the least amount of points allowed by Lansing all season.
"I thought we came out very uninspired and lethargic," Lansing coach Rod Briggs said. "I didn't like that very much and we did pick it up later."
Lansing got off to sluggish beginning and trailed after the first period 13-9. The team rebounded in the second to outscore Bonner 12-2 and take a 21-15 at the half.
From there, the Lions maintained success through the rest of the game to break away.
Joe Schneider had 16 points to lead Lansing while Donte Gibson contributed 13.
The Lions, 14-1, will play at Bishop Ward Friday starting at 7:15 p.m.
-James Howey

Missed opportunities plague Pioneers

For three quarters Tuesday, the Leavenworth boys' basketball team hung tough with Lawrence Free State.
But a disastrous fourth, one which included multiple missed scoring chances and poor defensive execution, broke down the Pioneers.
"We are struggling to find an identity," LV coach Larry Hogan said. "It's just bad basketball. We are not playing very well as a group. We have outstanding games from individuals, but as a team we are not very good right now."
Versus Free State, the Pioneers trailed for most of the game. After the first quarter, the Firebirds were up 12-7, then 21-18 at half.
After three, it was just a five-point game at 43-38. But a haphazard fourth quarter saw Leavenworth collapse.
"We sure got sloppy, turned the ball over and gave up open looks on top of that," Hogan said. "It was anybody's game at half and then we just didn't guard and execute. We have some guys who if their shots aren't going in, it affects their whole game."
Jason Randall finished with a team-high 18 points for the Pioneers while Trey Adkins added 10.
Leavenworth, 6-9, will travel to Shawnee Mission South Friday for a 7 p.m. tip.

Horton cruises by Pleasant Ridge

It was over before it started Tuesday for the Rams.
The Pleasant Ridge boys' basketball team couldn't match the physical nature of its hosts, Horton, from the start and trailed by 10 points eight minutes into the game. From there, the team went on to fall 70-34.
"We couldn't match their physicality from the get-go," PR coach Sean Murphy said. "We are still searching for a remedy for the same issues we've been having since day one — we are not playing together. With that said, our young guys keep getting experience, which is a positive and something to build on."
At half, the deficit had grown to 20 points and then a 22-4 third quarter, in favor of Horton, put the game away for good.
PR, 1-13, will host Oskaloosa Friday at 7 p.m.