Archive for Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lansing rallies past Bonner Springs boys

Bonner Springs junior guard Jourdaine Smallwood drives to the basket during the Braves' loss to Lansing.

Bonner Springs junior guard Jourdaine Smallwood drives to the basket during the Braves' loss to Lansing.

December 18, 2010

Oftentimes basketball teams dread entering the winter break on a loss.

Bonner Springs senior Juan Pichardo puts up a guarded shot during the Braves' loss to Lansing.

Bonner Springs senior Juan Pichardo puts up a guarded shot during the Braves' loss to Lansing.

For Bonner Springs boys basketball coach Andy Price, however, the attitude is different even after his team lost, 56-49, to Lansing on Friday night at the District P.E. Center.

Price saw so much progress — even in the loss — that he saw plenty the Braves can build upon.

It was a far cry from three nights earlier when the Jaguars struggled and were blown out by rival Mill Valley.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Price said. “I think if we had played Tuesday night with that kind of fire it would’ve been a whole different game. After Tuesday night I was a little frustrated, and I wasn’t sure if we were making progress. But after tonight you could actually see progress.

“Even though we lost, that’s the best complete game we’ve played, and we’re just a few mistakes away from being a lot better. The hustle was there, the execution was there, the togetherness was much better and they never quit, so I couldn’t be more proud of their effort.”

The Braves were flat-out dominant for the first five minutes of the game. They made five of their first 11 shots and received points from four different players during a game-opening 10-0 run. They used a full-court pressure defense and forced Lansing to turn the ball over five times during that span.

Once the Lions regrouped, however, the game turned around.

Lansing’s Izaiah Grice knocked down a jumper with 2:52 to go in the quarter for the Lions’ first points. LHS pulled within 12-5 by the end of the quarter.

The Lions continued to rally in the second quarter. They took better care of the ball and were patient in their motion offense while waiting for open looks. Colby Gwartney drove down the lane and dished to Clay Young for a layup to start the second quarter. Moments later, Mike Miller grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a put-back that pulled the Lions within 12-9.

A 3-pointer by Juan Pichardo briefly halted Lansing’s rally, but soon the Lions unleashed a 10-5 run and closed to within a point late in the quarter. Pichardo dished to Joseph Dooley for a layup in the closing seconds and the Braves took a 22-19 lead at halftime.

Grice scored on back-to-back possessions to start the third quarter and put the Lions on top, 23-22. The teams traded buckets and leads for the rest of the quarter, and Lansing nudged ahead 38-36 entering the final quarter.

BSHS turned the ball over on its first possession of the fourth quarter, and Cameron Decker took it the other way for a layup. From there, the Lions slowly extended their lead to double digits and secured the victory.

“I think maybe Lansing overlooked us a bit,” Price said. “They came out just a little slow, and they really picked up the intensity. We had a lot more intensity to begin with, on the defensive end especially, and once they picked it up it was a hard-fought game.

“I think they just had a little more experience and are a little bit deeper, and they capitalized on our mistakes.”

Grice led Lansing with a game-high 20 points on 9 of 15 shooting. Young added 10 as the Lions improved to 4-2.

Pichardo led the Braves with 14 points, Dooley scored 10 and B.J. Watson and Brett Steuart each added 8.

The Braves dropped to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the Kaw Valley League.

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