It’s largely considered to be the biggest game of the season. Senior Henry Simpson, a point guard on the team, said that the seniors look forward to this one more than any other. East fans waited patiently in the cafeteria as early as 3 on Friday. But in the Lancer’s first and only match-up against Rockhurst on the regular season schedule, every glimmer of hope for the boys in Columbia blue was gone by the fourth quarter. Inthe battle of East vs. Rockhurst, there was a clear and definitive winner.
At the game’s tentative start, however, neither side jumped out to a big lead. Immediately after the tip-off, East had the initial advantage after the Lancers favor as they gained possession of the ball and junior Vance Wentz sunk a deep field goal to put two points on the board. It appeared to be the perfectly scripted start the Lancers were looking for. But as the first quarter continued, the advantage slowly went to Rockhurst. Players like Kyle Wolf and Clay Guy put points on the board for the Hawklets with deep field goals. Their defensive full court press shut down East, who couldn’t get anything going inside the paint or from the three point line. And as the somewhat anticlimactic and low-scoring first quarter drew to a close, Rockhurst was ahead 8-5. Not at all how East wanted to start the highly anticipated match-up against the Hawklets.
As a matter of fact, Head Coach Shawn Hair has told his team again and again how they need to put up at least 60 points in a game. According to Hair’s philosophy, if you get 60 points you win the game.
The second quarter didn’t push the Lancers much closer to this goal. Juniors like Vance Wentz and Zach Schneider, who normally put up big points from the three point line, were virtually silent. Whether it was jitters or a mental break-down, East wasn’t producing offensively like Hair had hoped for. And for Rockhurst–they did a wonderful job of maintaining. They held on to their lead, lengthened it, and ended the quarter with senior Andrew Kramer sinking a half-court shot to put an exclamation mark on the impressive first half. It was Rockhurst ahead 23-12.
East could never really recover. The third quarter began and the Lancers appeared to become more desperate as time wore on. Wentz, Schneider and even junior Chase Hanna, who normally do well inside and beyond the three point arch, were throwing up desperation three pointers from way outside that weren’t falling. Credit is due, of course, to the Hawklets who had players scoring from all over their roster. Role players like Wolf and senior Pat Roberts held their own, while lesser-known junior Connor Kuhlman was involved in almost every scoring opportunity. An even offensive and defensive attack helped Rockhurst gain a convincing lead.
The fourth quarter, for the Lancers, was ultimately more like a funeral–in the sense that East fans and players looked to be mourning something that was already dead. Rockhurst held a commanding lead and didn’t let up; they won the game 54-28 when it was all said and done. East fans got excited when Hair put senior Chris Heady, who has been with the program since his freshman year, in the game but there were not a lot of highlights otherwise. However, even with the defeat, Lancer fans left the court by singing the school song. Obviously, they’ll be ready to do it all again next year.
Watch a recording of the JV boys 44-42 victory over Rockhurst.
Watch a recording of the Varsity boys 54-28 loss to Rockhurst.
The Varsity Lancer Dancer’s Halftime Dance
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