Lions rout Raiders, 67-26
Four score in double-digits as LHS cruises to 11th victory
If the Lansing High girls basketball team overlooked Immaculata, it sure was hard to tell.
LHS, ranked No. 9 in Kansas Class 5A, has a 6 p.m. Friday showdown at Tonganoxie, the No. 3 team in 4A, with a share of first place in the Kaw Valley League on the line. Tuesday night, though, Lansing's focus appeared to be solely on Immaculata. The Lions surged to an 18-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back as they cruised to a 67-26 victory.
It was a far cry from Jan. 21 when the Lions needed overtime to beat the Raiders in overtime, 53-51.
"We knew that overtime would not be good enough to prove who we were and what we stood for," senior Rachel Darrow said. "We knew that we had to come out with a big game tonight and show everyone around that Lansing was for real and these little close games wouldn't cut it."
To be fair, Immaculata wasn't at full strength. One of its starters was injured and another two players were under the weather. LHS coach Keith Andrews said that attributed to the Raiders running out of gas down the stretch.
"They didn't have their full squad," he said. "They fought through some adversity, and they didn't give up. They played hard. They just ran out of gas, and that's OK. That's normal for that kind of situation."
The Lions (11-4 overall, 8-1 Kaw Valley League) made sure the game never was close. Five different players scored in the first quarter, led by six apiece from Katie Nietzke and Amanda Radovich. They also forced 11 turnovers in the quarter and turned them into 15 points and a 24-6 lead.
Despite the comfy early lead, they didn't ease up. In fact, the Raiders didn't score for the first four minutes of the second quarter while the Lions forced six more turnovers and stretched their lead to 34-6.
The Raiders made a 6-0 run late in the quarter, but it was too little too late. It was 38-12 and the damage already had been done.
The Lions came out scorching hot again in the second half. They outscored the Raiders 15-4 in the first four minutes, 35 seconds of the quarter.
The hefty margin on the scoreboard allowed Andrews to give his reserves plenty of playing time. They didn't disappoint. Juniors Kara Ritchey and Mary Lyon, sophomores Amanda Darrow, Morgan Chiles, Christine Cordes, Nakia Becker and freshman Brittney Lang all saw extended minutes.
Lansing shot 44 percent for the game while Immaculata hit just 25 percent of its shots. Radovich logged a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Rachel Darrow threatened triple-double territory with 14 points, nine boards and six steals. Nietzke joined Darrow with high-scorer honors with 14 points. Nichole Twitchel scored 13 and Amanda Darrow had five. Cristiano, Cordes, Chiles and Becker scored two points apiece and Ritchey had one. Jessica Todd led Immac with 10 points while three other Raiders scored four.
When Lansing plays Tonganoxie on Friday, a share of first place in the league will be at stake. The Chieftains (14-1, 8-0) handed the Lions their only conference loss this season. THS owns sole possession of first in the league while LHS holds sole possession of second.
"We've done what we wanted to do. We've put ourselves in position for a showdown Friday night," Andrews said. "We'll see if we can show up and play again and get a win out of that. We're going to be ready to play. The girls are motivated now, and that is a great stepping stone. That's a lot better than a two-point overtime win."
JV GIRLS FALL
Despite holding Immaculata scoreless for the first seven minutes of the game, the Lansing High junior varsity girls basketball team was unable to pick up a victory Tuesday night.
Immaculata 32, Lansing 24.
During the first seven minutes, the Lions jumped to an 8-0 lead behind four points from Amanda Darrow, two from Morgan Chiles and two from Nakia Becker. The Raiders scored six in the final minute of the quarter, however, to pull within 8-6.
LHS made just one of six shots in the second quarter and went three-for-six at the free throw line. Meanwhile, Immaculata hit six of 13 shots in the quarter and surged to a 20-13 lead at halftime.
Lansing amped up its defense again in the third quarter and surrendered just two points in the first seven minutes, but a put-back by Kara Ritchey was the only offense LHS could muster during the quarter.
Freshman Brooke Didde sparked a small rally in the fourth quarter when she fired in five points off the bench, but it wasn't enough to bring the Lions back.
Didde led Lansing with five points. Darrow, Becker and Ritchey scored four apiece, Christine Cordes had three and Chiles and Lauren Elkins added two apiece.