It was a season of ups and downs, according to Lansing girls’ basketball coach KC Simmons.
“The new conference and a tough non-conference schedule made us compete night in and night out,” Simmons said. “And ultimately made our basketball program stronger because of it.”
The Lions wrapped up their season in the sub-state finals in a loss to eventual 5A state champion St. Thomas Aquinas to finish the year 10-12. The team also went 5-5 in the United Kansas Conference to finish third behind Leavenworth and De Soto.
In the game prior, the Lions defeated Highland Park, which Simmons said will be a favorite memory of his from this season. He also said the team’s best win came in a 56-54 victory over Seaman to start the season.
The half-court defense was a big strength this season, according to Simmons. He said they were able to get critical stops in critical situations.
Simmons said it was hard to select a single MVP for the team this season, but there were three seniors that stood out to him.
“It is difficult to select just one player for MVP,” Simmons said. “But we had three seniors that really stood out – Gerenda Smith, Taylor Lang and Kennedy Farris. They all contributed in a variety of ways and we were not the same team when any one of them was off the court.”
Simmons also said the most improved was freshman Caitlin Bishop.
“Caitlin Bishop was thrown into a tough situation as a freshman and she learned a lot on the fly,” Simmons said. “She did an amazing job of taking care of the ball for us and knocking down big shots, and defensively she became one of our best help defenders by the end of the year.”
With the season now over, Lansing will send off one of the most successful senior classes in Lansing girls’ basketball history.
“This senior class became just the second class at Lansing to have 10-plus wins all four seasons,” Simmons said. “The only other class to accomplish that was last year’s graduating class. Lansing girls’ basketball does not have a rich tradition but this senior class has done a great job of adding to it.”
Looking ahead to the 2019-20 season, Simmons said the Lions will return several key pieces from this season.
“We lose an amazing class of seniors,” Simmons said. “But we will also return several key pieces. We had some underclassmen put into tough situations this year that hopefully will make them better in the years to come. Our junior class has a lot of talent that hopefully will step up their game and take on bigger roles as seniors next year.”