Lansing girls lose sub-state opener at Seaman
Lions lead early before second-quarter drought sets in
Topeka The Lansing High girls' basketball team knew it had a tall task on its hands as it tried to upset Topeka Seaman on Wednesday night in the opening round of Class 5A sub-state play.
Tall specifically referred to Seaman players Megan Williams (6-foot), Aubree Gustin (6-foot-1) and Breanna Lewis (6-foot-4). In comparison, Lansing's most vertically gifted player was 5-foot-11 junior Amanda Radovich.
Still, the Lions (10-11) didn't go down without a fight in their 56-43 season-ending loss to the Vikings (14-7).
"I told them we don't have to be great in the first quarter, but we've got to be good, and we were right with them," LHS coach Keith Andrews said. "In the second quarter we wobbled a little bit with some passes and turnovers. Some of that is nerves. Some of that is young kids. But still, if we get another bucket or two in that quarter we're still right with them. And after that I thought we played even with them the rest of the way."
Lansing played like a team with nothing to lose during the first quarter and sent a message to the Vikings that it had no plans of going quietly. Once Seaman jumped out to a 5-2 lead, LHS came alive. Freshman Katie Nietzke drained a three-pointer from deep in the left corner, Emily Goodlin scored on a lay-in, Amanda Radovich converted a three-point play and Nichole Twitchell scored four straight points as Lansing took a 14-13 lead after the opening stanza.
After making five of 11 shots in the first quarter, however, the Lions went ice cold in the second quarter. Ultimately, that spelled too much trouble to recover from. Junior Rachel Darrow's 15-foot jumper 30 seconds before halftime provided Lansing's only two points of the quarter. Seaman made a 15-2 run in the quarter and put the game out of reach by halftime.
"Last year we probably would've quit after the second quarter and it probably would've been a 30 or 40-point ball game," Radovich said. "This year we stayed with it and we didn't quit. That says a lot about our character."
Despite trailing by 12 at intermission, the Lions refused to quit. Just as they did in numerous games this season, they made a second-half push. Radovich scored five points early in the third quarter that trimmed the deficit to single-digits, but Seaman was simply too strong. The Vikings led by as many as 18 points before winning by 13.
Radovich led Lansing with a game-high 15 points, Goodlin scored 10, Nietzke and Darrow scored five, Twitchell had four, and Melissa Casto and Monique Richardson added two apiece.
Gustin led Seaman with 15 points and Williams added 13.
The loss marked the end of the LHS careers of seniors Casto, Goodlin, Richardson and Kendra Sickinger. It also closed out the best season for the Lansing girls in the last four years as they recorded double-digit victories for the first time during that span.
"We're going to miss those seniors," Andrews said. "That's the tough part of it, that there is some finality to it, but they did such a good job for us and I told those three juniors you have to do it as good or better. We're going to miss them, but we've got some young kids coming through that hopefully will step up and be ready to go."