Lancer basketball made the second round of sub-state play before falling to BV Northwest, last year’s state champion. The team ended the season 15-7.
During the regular season, East played in two tournaments and took second in both the December Sportscare Shootout tournament and the McPherson Tournament in January.
The Lancers won both of the season’s biggest rivalry games when late free throws resulted in a one point victory over Rockhurst and when the team won an away game against SM South.
Two sophomores, forward Joey Wentz and guard Jay Guastello, had a standout season playing varsity this season.
“Both sophomores are great players and matured a lot throughout the season and will be a force next year,” junior Lucas Jones, who played varsity his sophomore year, said.
This season was the Lancers’ first under new head coach Austin Klumpe. East finished the season 8-13 after losing in the first round of substate play.
Coach Klumpe brought a change of pace to the program that required some adjustments from returning players in the team’s playing style and preparation.
“We were somewhat used to having a laid back coach,” junior Hannah Nick said. “[It] was hard learning all the new plays he had for us and just learning all the new expectations.”
Next season, the team will look for continued improvement from freshman Kyle Haverty, who started the entire season on varsity.
“Next year are looking to improve our offense and aggressiveness on the court,” Nick said.
East bowling finished another successful season. The team won matches against every other Shawnee Mission School.
Junior Mike Thibodeau set a new East record this season with a series record of 625. Senior Lily Payne had the second highest series score of the season with 588.
Coach Patti Kennedy hopes kids will work to get better in the offseason.
“We encourage the kids to join a league after season,” Kennedy said.
Ten of the team’s 30 members were seniors, but spots will be filled easily next season. Many boys tried out and were cut when the season started. This year, the number of girls going out for bowling that none had to be cut from the team.
East swimming maintained its strong reputation this year, qualifying four divers and 16 swimmers to state. The team took second in state overall and placed inside the top three in six events.
At the Sunflower League meet just before state, East set five new record times and broke the previous record for overall points by more than 50. The Lancers were first in the sunflower league for the eleventh year in a row.
Head coach Wiley Wright won the Kansas High School Activities Association award for coach of the year. Junior swimmer Benn Schmatz attributes the team’s consistent success to Wright’s coaching.
“Wiley Wright makes us a strong team,” Schmatz said. “He pulled our team out of the depths and made us a first rate team.”
The Lancer wrestling team ended the season on March 1, when the state tournament concluded. At state, senior Grant Hollingsworth was the only East wrestler to place, taking third in the 126 lbs division.
East wrestling was the top team in the district for the third year in a row. The team continued through league, regionals and to the league tournament where seven members of the team finished inside the top five in their weight class.
The wrestling team had only three seniors. The team relied on juniors and sophomores to bring up the team.
“The seniors we did have had to step up a little more than usual and be leaders,” junior Marshall Green said.