Bummer in Bonner
Bonner Springs The Lansing High girls' basketball team hoped to gain momentum, as well as revenge on Bonner Springs, in the Lions' final tune-up before the Class 5A sub-state playoffs rolled around.
Instead, they seemed to take a step backwards Thursday night as they let a late lead slip away in identical fashion to their one-point loss to the Bravettes on Jan. 14, and then fell in overtime, 65-63.
Lansing was sloppy with the ball and played soft perimeter defense for most of the game as Bonner bombed in 10 three-pointers. BSHS freshman Kelsey Stanbrough - who sank a game-winning three-pointer in the first meeting - sank five of them, including another at the buzzer to force overtime from about the same spot where she'd hit the earlier game-winner. She finished with a game-high 29 points.
"I questioned their heart a little bit at the end," LHS coach Keith Andrews said of his squad. "We didn't want to step up and guard anybody. We were shy and timid. I told them, if they're not going to guard that girl for three more years, they're going to see it over and over again. She's a good player, but we stood back and let her shoot all night long, and they've got to know the last game she hit the shot.
"Our defense has got to improve and our passing has got to improve. On the plus side, we shot the ball a little better, we made some free throws out there and we rebounded fairly well."
LHS fell behind 5-0 in the first 2:30, but responded with a 13-2 run that appeared to put the Lions (10-10) in control. After making just one of eight three's in the first quarter, however, Bonner drained two of five in the second quarter - both by junior Hilary Johnson - and Lansing led just 33-28 at halftime.
Senior Kendra Sickinger drilled a trey to open the third quarter and gave LHS an eight-point lead, but Bonner senior Chase Crouch answered with a three at the other end. Then Stanbrough nailed back-to-back three-pointers and put the Bravettes ahead. Nichole Twitchell answered with a jumper for LHS, Emily Goodlin scored on a put-back and Monique Richardson had a steal and lay-up that put the Lions back ahead, 42-37. Stanbrough then swished another three-pointer, but senior Melissa Casto scored on a put-back at the other end and helped LHS take a 44-42 lead into the fourth quarter.
"Casto only scored two baskets for us," Andrews said, "but both were on big put-backs when we needed them."
After an 11-point third quarter, Stanbrough added 10 more in the fourth. Her wide-open three-pointer at the buzzer tied the game at 57 and forced overtime. She then scored four of Bonner's eight points in overtime as the Bravettes held off the Lions.
Amanda Radovich scored a team-high 17 points for Lansing, Twitchell added 11 and Goodlin scored 10. Sickinger and Rachel Darrow added six apiece, Casto had five and Richardson and Katie Nietzke scored four each.
Lansing next plays at 7 p.m. Wednesday when it travels to Seaman High School in Topeka to play the Vikings.
Bonner Springs 61, Lansing boys 49
The Lansing High boys in the last five games appeared to have fully bought into their new game plan of slowing the tempo and being patient.
Thursday night at Bonner Springs they seemed to revert to their old ways, however, as they tried to run up-tempo with the bigger, quicker and more athletic Braves. The result wasn't pretty as BSHS coasted to a 61-49 victory and wrapped up the Kaw Valley League title.
"We needed to control the transition game, and we come out the first three minutes of the basketball game and want to run up and down the floor with them," LHS coach Don Allen said, citing the Lions' early 10-2 deficit as an example of how they drifted from their game plan.
Bonner's Toine Barber, the quickest player in the league, shredded LHS for eight first-quarter points during that span. The Lions slowed the pace for the last five minutes of the quarter and forced a 12-all tie behind six points from Jeff Slater before Barber had a steal and lay-up at the buzzer.
Lansing remained steady through the first five minutes of the second quarter as David Kern sank a pair of free-throws, Matt Warner drilled a three-pointer, Jeff Jackson had a lay-up and Slater back-to-back buckets inside. When Bonner pushed the tempo a bit, though, the Lions went with it and allowed the Braves to close the half on a 9-2 run and take a 34-25 lead at halftime.
Sloppy ball-handling in the third quarter by Lansing allowed Bonner to pull away. LHS turned the ball over on four of its last five possessions of the quarter, and then turned it over two times early in the fourth quarter. By then the Braves' lead was 51-35.
Kern, Warner and Chris Wagner sparked a 7-0 run for LHS that trimmed the deficit to nine, but Barber reasserted himself down the stretch for BSHS as the Braves pulled away.
Barber scored a game-high 20 points for the Braves. Slater led Lansing with 14; Wagner and Warner added nine apiece. Kern scored eight, Jeff Collins added three and Jackson and Cody Mohan chipped in two apiece.
Lansing next plays on Thursday when it opens sub-state play. Its opponent is yet to be determined, but will be either Topeka West, Gardner-Edgerton or Topeka Highland Park.