Lions ‘mail in’ third straight loss
Rod Briggs was beside himself Tuesday night during the second quarter of Lansing High's boys basketball game against Bishop Ward.
Briggs, Lansing's first-year coach, couldn't believe his eyes. After 14 games where the youth-laden Lions got by on hard work, hustle and all-out scrappy play, they seemingly forgot those qualities they'd valued most.
The Cyclones put on a layup show that had more to do with the Lions' lack of focus than it did the defense they faced.
Ward scored 26 points in the quarter, led by 18 at halftime and coasted to a 60-49 victory at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
"We just mailed it in tonight," Briggs said. "We didn't come to play. It was the most disappointing loss of the season by a long ways because we didn't play with very much effort in the first half. We just didn't play hard."
The lack of hustle cost the Lions dearly. Despite four early points from senior Jeff Jackson they still trailed 11-7 after the first quarter.
Then came the second-quarter layup clinic. Ward senior Chris Wing scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in the quarter. Ten of those points came on uncontested drives to the basket.
"It's the worst defensive effort of any team I've ever coached, to give up 26 points in a quarter," Briggs said. "If you do that for four quarters you're giving up way over 100."
Lansing (5-10 overall, 2-6 Kaw Valley League) trailed 37-19 at halftime.
"We dug ourselves too big of a hole," Briggs said. "We fought our way back to make it respectable. We got it under 10 late, but we weren't able to continue that."
LHS rallied thanks to improved defense and better focus on the offensive end. Jackson and sophomore Curtis Beall had four points apiece in the quarter as the Lions outscored the Cyclones 12-9. The Lions had an 18-14 scoring edge in the fourth quarter, too, but it was too late to matter.
Jackson led Lansing with 13 points, Beall and Kevin Johnson scored nine apiece and Clayton Hall had eight.
Lansing next plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Tonganoxie. Tonganoxie won a previous meeting between the teams, 54-46, on Dec. 15 at LHS in a game where the Lions made just two of 13 free throws.