Freshman boys rally for third at home tourney
Four games in six days was the task the Lansing High freshman boys basketball team faced Jan. 23-28, and the Lions came out of the gauntlet with a 2-2 record.
The week began with a 60-47 victory against De Soto in the first round of the 42nd Annual Lansing Freshman Tournament and ended with a 58-45 victory Saturday against Piper in the tournament's third-place game. Sandwiched in between were two losses to a tough Basehor-Linwood squad. The first, a 50-33 loss Wednesday, came in the tournament semifinals. The second, a 58-54 overtime defeat Friday night, was part of regular Kaw Valley League action.
"It's better to come out 2-2 than 1-3," LHS freshman coach Bill Pekarek said. "But we really felt like we should've beat Basehor in both games."
The Lions (6-3) struggled in the first game against the Bobcats because the Lions were unable to get in a rhythm on offense, Pekarek said. They also had limited shooting threats because starter Clayton Hall was out with an ankle injury.
In the rematch Friday, Pekarek said his squad played much better. The Lions led by as many as 10 points, but two missed free throws at the end of regulation sent the game to overtime. That's where the Bobcats pulled away.
"It was a hard-fought game by both teams and it was very physical inside," Pekarek said.
Although tired from playing so many games in a short period of time, Lansing geared back up Saturday for the third-place game of the Lansing Freshman Tournament. LHS had its hands full with a sharp-shooting squad from Piper. The Pirates raced to a seven-point lead in the first quarter and held it almost until halftime when the Lions pulled to within 32-28.
The second half was all Lansing. The Lions used an 18-6 run to explode to a 46-38 lead during the first eight minutes of the second half. The bruising inside game of Ryan Delich and Cody Rush, matched with the smooth guard play of Peter Gibson and Curtis Beall and tenacious defense of Matt Robbins and Hall, allowed the Lions to blow the game open and cruise to the victory.
Rush led Lansing with a game-high 23 points and Delich added 13. Robbins and Beall had seven points apiece, and Hall and Gibson both had four. Other freshman players were Joe Goll, Cameron Trowbridge, Nicholas Novak, Kyle Willcott, Metin Depaolis, Eddie Silva, Ezra Carpenter and Hawkins Hall.
The freshman Lions next play at 5:30 p.m. Friday against Mill Valley at the Lansing Intermediate School.