LHS girls win fourth straight; boys fall to Piper
Kansas City, Kan. The view from the top is pretty nice, if you ask the Lansing High girls' basketball team.
And the Lions (4-2) should know. Just one year removed from a seven-win season full of frustration, they're riding high on a four-game winning streak and are atop the Kaw Valley League standings with a 3-0 league mark after drilling Piper, 61-45.
So, yes, they're savoring every bit of it.
"I don't think I've ever won four in a row at Lansing. That's exciting," said junior forward Amanda Radovich.
They could make it five straight with a win over Bonner Springs next Friday.
"That'd be nice," Radovich said.
There was concern entering the game that the Lions could struggle because it'd been almost a month since they'd last played a game. Plus, Tuesday's contest against Tonganoxie was canceled because of inclement weather, and then they went two days straight without practice because of the ice storm.
Still, Lansing looked plenty strong on the offensive end of the court. All 12 players who suited up saw action in the game, and nine of them scored. Radovich led the way with a game-high 22 points. Senior Monique Richardson was the second-highest scorer with eight points, while the other seven who scored chipped in between four and six points apiece.
"We put five new people in and there wasn't any let-off," LHS coach Keith Andrews said. "We still got people to look to score. We still got people to rebound. We've got a good athletic mix. The freshmen kids are playing well still, and it's just a real luxury.
"(Piper's players) were dragging. They were tired and they're about six deep, to be honest. Our depth hurt them and we've got to take advantage of it."
The Pirates (1-5) shot lights-out in the first quarter, and they needed every bit of it to keep pace with Lansing. LHS burst to a 13-7 lead in the first quarter, but four Piper three-pointers - three of them by junior Allison Brown - allowed the Pirates to hang within 19-18 after the first quarter.
Lansing delivered a critical blow in the second quarter, however, when it went on a 13-0 run and opened up a 32-19 lead. Radovich poured in 10 points in the quarter and Piper made just one of nine field goals in the quarter.
Weary legs and a spurt of sloppy defense by LHS allowed Piper to climb within 34-31 midway through the third quarter, but again Lansing turned on the jets. Senior Melissa Casto scored on a put-back that sparked a 14-3 run to close the quarter.
The Lions took a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter and cruised to the victory.
Piper 59, Lansing boys 45
A quick glance at the final score might throw off any fans who attended Lansing's game at Piper on Friday night.
Fans left the gym believing Piper won the game, 59-50, but trouble at the scorer's table allowed LHS to inadvertently be credited with five extra points.
It didn't matter, though. The Lions (2-4 overall, 1-2 KVL) took themselves out of the game from the start by playing sloppy on offense and getting into early foul trouble defensively.
Piper (6-1, 3-0) held a 12-6 lead after the first quarter but pressed its advantage to 26-12 by halftime.
"Quite a bit of it is lack of playing," LHS coach Don Allen said, "but Piper hadn't had a game since we have either, so obviously their defensive effort had most to do with it. I think we played the first half about how we practiced over Christmas break. Lackadaisical, lack of effort and without a purpose."
The Lions found a purpose in the second half - pride. They didn't want to get blown out by their rivals so they turned up the heat on both ends of the floor in the second half. The problem was they waited to long to do it.
Junior Jeff Slater - who spent much of the first half on the bench in foul trouble - and junior Chris Wagner carried the load offensively in the second half. Slater scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half while Wagner scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half.
A layup by Jeff Jackson midway through the third quarter trimmed the deficit to eight points, and a three-point play by Slater one minute later pulled LHS within six. That's as close as Lansing ever got. Piper outscored the Lions 22-15 in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
"Piper embarrassed us in the first half," Allen said. "They simply outplayed us on both ends of the floor. I thought we came out in the second half and responded real well, but you can't spot somebody 15 points. Especially somebody as good as Piper is and hope to come out on top many times."
The Lions next play at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Bonner Springs at Lansing Intermediate School.