Gardner upends LHS freshman boys
The Lansing High freshman boys basketball team's quest for a title at the 44th annual Lansing Freshman Tournament came to a halt Saturday.
In the process, so did the Lions' bid for an undefeated season.
Gardner-Edgerton dominated for much of the tournament championship game Saturday at the Lansing Intermediate School gymnasium before fending off a late Lions rally.
Gardner 47, Lansing 46.
The loss came in Lansing's fourth game of the week, and the Lions showed plenty of signs of fatigue.
"We were a little sluggish," LHS coach Bill Pekarek said. "We've got some kids that are sick, and I'm sick today, but that's not why we lost the game. We didn't make some shots we should've made; we didn't play good defense under the basket sometimes."
Gardner bolted to a 10-1 lead in the first quarter, and nearly six minutes expired before Ryan O'Donnell knocked down Lansing's first field goal.
That basket sparked a 10-1 LHS run that pulled the Lions within 12-11, but the Blazers closed the first half on an 8-4 run and took a 20-15 lead at intermission.
Lansing (9-1) continued to struggle to knock down open shots during much of the third quarter. Meanwhile, Gardner scored on six out of eight shots - three of them three-pointers by Ryan Jones - as the Blazers built a double-digit lead by the end of the quarter.
Gardner's largest lead came with 5:09 left when it took a 38-26 advantage. That's when the Lions finally clicked on both sides of the ball. They forced a series of turnovers, converted layups and knocked down open shots.
"I think our effort got better, and then we started playing better," Pekarek said. "And all of a sudden we knocked down a couple shots and that kind of livened us up a little bit."
O'Donnell scored 15 points during a 20-7 run as LHS took a 46-45 lead with 32 seconds left.
Gardner's Ryan Newhouse sank a pair of free throws eight seconds later that gave the Blazers a lead, and Calvin Schneider's jump shot for the win in the closing seconds rimmed out.
"They're a good team, but I still think we should've beat 'em," Pekarek said. "We just didn't do some things at times that ended up costing us."
O'Donnell scored a game-high 21 points for Lansing. Colby Gwartney had nine, Mike Grote and Matt Stratton scored six apiece and Kaleb McQuillan had four.