Lady Lions return two key starters from league title team

Jason Brown
The Leavenworth Times
Shown is Lansing junior forward Kamryn Farris.

A long offseason will come to an end Friday for the Lansing girl’s basketball team when they open the season at home against Spring Hill.

The Lady Lions went 15-7 last season and finished in a three-way tie for the United Kansas Conference regular-season championship with Basehor-Linwood and De Soto at 8-2. Despite completing their basketball season before the state tournament was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the Lady Lions missed the opportunity to compete in spring activities as well as having summer workouts and camps altered.

Even with all of the restrictions and new protocols, practice for winter activities began on time but head coach KC Simmons said it has been a new challenge for his team and staff.

“We have definitely had a lot of different preparation with things we never had to deal with before,” he said. “Kids are practicing with masks the entire time, they have to get temperature checked when they come to practice, water bottles are spaced out around the court and numerous other items have changed in order to stay in compliance with COVID-19 procedures.”

Simmons said the new protocols and changes are not dictating how the Lady Lions approach the season.

“We focus on the things we can control,” he said. “There are too many things outside of our control to worry about to see work on being the best versions of ourselves as possible so our goal is always self-improvement.”

Lansing returns two starters with all-league honors in juniors Caitlin Bishop and Kamryn Farris. Farris was the Lady Lions’ leading scorer with 11 points per game. She also averaged over seven rebounds per game.

Simmons said Kenzi Moburg and Skylar Weaver will be expected to contribute after coming off the bench last season. He also is expecting a few newcomers to get opportunities in the rotation.

“MacKenzie Krause and Cassidy Woods will have the opportunity to step up and contribute solid minutes for us at the varsity level, he said. “Mackenzie Manthe is a new player to our team and we hope she can provide a lot of support once she gets caught up to speed on how we want things done.”

Simmons said the Lady Lions will play an up-tempo offense with the goal of moving the defense out of position and stick to man-to-man on defense.

“Several of these kids have been playing varsity minutes since they were underclassmen so we hope they are all comfortable with what we do,” he said.

Lansing will have no fans in attendance at its games this season and but Simmons said the team is thankful to be able to play at all.

“We are most looking forward to having a season,” he said. “Seeing spring sports get shut down last year was heart-wrenching and we know we can’t take anything for granted so we are embracing the ride as much as possible because we never know when it might end.”

Lansing’s season opener against Spring Hill Friday is scheduled to tip at 5:45 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on the NFHS Network.