Bombs away: LHS boys blow out Tongie
Girls fall to KVL’s top team
Lansing High boys' basketball coach Don Allen must have felt a bit like Norman Dale, the coach in the classic hoops flick "Hoosiers," as he watched his three starting guards go off Jimmy Chitwood-style on Friday night.
Guards Chris Wagner, Cody Mohan and Matt Warner combined for six three pointers in a 6-for-10 effort from beyond the arc as the Lions (6-10 overall, 3-7 Kaw Valley League) drilled Tonganoxie, 48-33, in the old Lansing Intermediate School gymnasium that eerily similar to the high school gyms featured in the 1986 movie.
"I've kind of always wanted to get a game over here," LHS coach Don Allen said. "I've been trying to do that for the last eight years, just find somebody who wanted to schedule us and let us play over here, because I like the atmosphere and I like this old gym. It's fun when it's loud. It's fun when people are screaming and I can't hear what the guys are saying half the time and they can't hear what I'm saying. It's fun - than fans just blasting your ears out. I've been looking forward to playing in here so we've definitely wanted to get a win in here."
Lansing had its chance to return to the old gym after a water main pipe in the high school broke during winter break and flooded the gym floor. The Lions were 0-3 in the old gym until Friday night. The victory against Tonganoxie signified the first LHS boys' win in the gym since 1988, the last season varsity basketball was played there.
The game was a slugfest for the first seven minutes and looked as though it was going to be a repeat of the previous two meetings this season when LHS won 49-46 in overtime and 48-46 on a shot by Wagner with two seconds left. At the 1:03 mark of the first quarter, however, sophomore Jeff Jackson provided the spark that ignited the Lions' offensive onslaught. Jackson muscled his way to the basket in traffic, scored and was fouled. He completed the three-point play by sinking the ensuing free throw, and then Jackson swatted a shot at the other end as part of a major defensive stop.
"Jackson has stepped up a lot," Wagner said. "I think Jackson's a big reason why we've been successful lately. Him coming off the bench and being able to do something is really giving us a boost. We know we don't have to rely on just five people now. We at least have one more."
The next time down the court Warner buried his first three-pointer, and then nailed a jumper at the buzzer. Lansing's 8-0 run during that 63-second span was just the appetizer, though.
Jackson opened the second quarter by swishing a turnaround jumper. Then Wagner banged home back-to-back three-pointers, Mohan sank a trey, Warner swished another from beyond the arc and Mohan rattled home a three-pointer at the buzzer. The scorching long-range shooting turned the game into a full-fledged rout by halftime as LHS led 29-9 at intermission.
"Once we hit a few, things kind of started snowballing on a positive for us for once," Allen said. "They started getting a rhythm. It's odd that we get one guard that's consistently hitting, but I don't think any of them missed too many shots there in the first half. That's just kind of exploded on us."
"I'm happy for all three of our guards, and definitely it was a big boost for us there with David (Kern) picking up fouls and Jeff (Slater) couldn't get in sync. Obviously we needed some offense coming from somewhere, and I'm excited for those guys and I'm happy they knocked some shots down like they did."
To it's credit, Tonganoxie (4-10, 1-6) never quit. In fact, the Chieftains played Lansing pretty even in the second half. LHS only increased its lead by a point in the third quarter and then Tongie closed the game on a 6-0 run that made the final score more respectable.
For Lansing, the victory signified the second straight game it has put a complete game together after struggling to play as a team for most of the season. The Lions gave a solid all-around effort Tuesday night in their 46-44 double-overtime loss to Immaculata (13-1, 7-0) and matched that effort with another solid outing Friday.
Warner led the Lions with a game-high 12 points and Mohan added 10 in the victory. Slater scored nine, Wagner finished with eight, Jackson added five and Kern chipped in four in the victory. No Tongie player scored more than seven points.
Lansing next plays at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against Bishop Ward at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
"If we play like we have the last few times out we'll be fine," Wagner said. "We've just got to maintain that confidence that we know we can come out like that."
Tonganoxie 67, Lansing girls 29
The first time the Lansing High and Tonganoxie High girls' basketball teams met on the court, the Chieftains raced to a 19-1 lead after the first quarter.
The rematch was much different, as LHS trailed just 14-8 after the opening stanza. The end result was pretty similar, however, as Tongie streaked to a 67-29 victory on Senior Night at the Lansing Intermediate School gymnasium.
Both teams struggled out of the gates as Tongie made just one of its first 10 shots and Lansing missed its first eight before senior Melissa Casto scored on a put-back. Still, THS opened a 12-4 lead before freshman Katie Nietzke and junior Nichole Twitchell buried baskets late in the quarter.
"I was happy with the first quarter," LHS coach Keith Andrews said. "Melissa started and she got a bucket early. She came out and responded well, but (overall) we were out of sync from the start."
Tonganoxie erupted in the second quarter with a balanced scoring attack as six different players scored in a 17-6 run that gave the Chieftains a 31-14 halftime lead.
Lansing (8-8 overall, 6-4 Kaw Valley League) hung tough for most of the third quarter as Nietzke came off the bench to provide an offensive spark. The backup point guard sizzled on three straight possessions as she dished an assist to junior Amanda Radovich, drained a three-pointer and then logged another assist when she found senior Monique Richardson open for a jump shot. It wasn't enough to close the gap, however, because Tongie point guard Ali Pistora found her stroke and chipped in 10 points in the quarter. The Chieftains continued to pull away in the fourth quarter and handed the Lions their worst defeat of the season.
Nietzke and Twitchell led LHS with seven points apiece. Radovich, who averages almost 20 points per game, was held to a season-low five points. Richardson scored four, and Riann Deere, Emily Goodlin and Casto finished with two points apiece.
Pistora led Tonganoxie (13-2, 8-0) with 17 points, Heather Deaver scored 10 and three other players added eight points each.
Lansing next plays at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against Bishop Ward.
"We've got four games left and we need to get a couple more wins before sub-state," Andrews said.