Unbeaten freshmen ready for home tourney
The downfall with being a freshman basketball player is that your games often are overshadowed by varsity games.
After all, the freshmen play in a different gym while the varsity games are taking place.
That explains why few people probably know the LHS freshmen boys are undefeated this year. They'll put their 6-0 record on the line starting Monday in the 44th annual Lansing Freshman Tournament, and it'll be one of their only opportunities to play in the main gym as the only game in town.
LHS freshman basketball coach Bill Pekarek said his squad will face a challenging week considering the tournament takes place Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, Jan. 26. In addition, the Lions will play a Kaw Valley League game against Bonner Springs on Friday, Jan. 25.
"They kind of play an NBA schedule that week," he said. "There'll be a lot of playing and not a lot of practice that week, but I think they're anxious to get this tournament going."
LHS opens the tournament at 7:45 p.m. Monday against Patton Junior High at Johnsmeyer Gymnasium. Other first-round games are Piper vs. Eudora at 4 p.m., De Soto vs. Basehor-Linwood at 5:15 p.m. and Tonganoxie vs. Gardner-Edgerton at 6:30 p.m.
If Lansing wins its opener, it will play at 7:45 p.m. Wednesday. If it loses, it will play at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Pekarek said Lansing last won its home tournament six years ago, and he said this year's squad has the potential to end that title drought.
"In the 39th annual one we won with (Jeff) Slater, (Chris) Wagner, (Cody) Mohan, (David) Kern and (Matt) Warner, and this year I think we have a pretty good chance. We have some talent to compete for the top spot there, and what's different with this year's team is we have a little more depth."
Pekarek said the Lions have been successful thus far because they have talented guards and post players that all are unselfish. They've had eight or more players score in all but one game so far this season, and four players average more than seven points per contest.
"They play unselfish, and they can get up and down the floor," Pekarek said.
Pekarek said he hasn't stressed the tournament's tradition yet, but he said that will come during the next few days.
"This is the 44th annual (tournament), and once you think about that for a moment, that's pretty outstanding right there that Lansing's hosted this tournament for that many years," he said. "That's pretty special."