Lancers’ head basketball coach Shawn Hair’s unenthusiastic stare at senior forward Jay Guastello told the entire tale of Shawnee Mission East’s confounding home loss to rival Shawnee Mission North Indians.
A defeat that came from the dominance of North’s Michael and Marcus Weathers, who throughout the game were responsible for scoring 51 of the Indians’ final 69 points. From the start, Hair heavily stressed to his Lancers the importance of stopping transition baskets. The game plan was formerly devised when the Lancers’ coaching staff highly noted that Shawnee Mission North’s two guards, brothers Michael and Marcus Weathers, would be their most dangerous players to keep in check. Coming in, both of the Weathers’ twins were averaging a combined 30 points per game.
Early on, the game plan worked to East’s advantage, as the Lancers stymied North’s up-tempo offense in the first quarter, holding the Indians to two points in the fast break. Tight defense in the front court forced the Indians’ slashing guards to shoot contested midrange jumpers. Rebounding, mainly from the offensive end, was another staple that Hair advised to take advantage of before the game started. This was apparent as East kept their offensive possessions alive with strong efforts on the boards from senior forward Davis Morrison. The scoring came directly from shooting guard Alex Glazer, who netted a three-pointer late in the quarter, and forward Mark Ward who book-ended East’s scoring by layups in the post. The Lancers’ utilization of sharp passing in the half court kept things even at 14-14 after one-quarter of play.
Once the second quarter ensued however, the quickness and explosion from the Indians’ Weathers twins made it difficult for East guards’ Alex Glazer and Trevor Thompson to defend. North outscored East by twelve points simply off the back of both Michael and Marcus Weathers, who were responsible for 13 of the Indians’ 17 second quarter points. By staying with the plan of negating any dribble penetration and run outs by the Indians, it seemed none of that was found during stretches late in the half, where Michael Weathers pierced the Lancer front court on nearly every possession. To end the half, Michael’s nine points in the quarter came off of pick-and-rolls at the top of key. When he wasn’t scoring entirely at the rim, the remainder of his production was fed off free throw attempts, in which he shot 4/6 fom the foul line. The constant splitting of the Lancers’ perimeter defense resulted in three and-one opportunities, which earlier was traced back to 15 fouls by East in the half.
After halftime, where the Lancers trailed 31-23, Hair’s preaching of extended pressure on the perimeter and additional spacing was exemplified early. Rather than sustaining a taller lineup in the post, Hair instead compensated North’s speed and scrappiness by going small, for an attempt to force North to beat them from the outside. During the initial portion of the third quarter, seniors Ryan Dornbusch and Davis Morrison, who are formerly found back in the front court, were this time extended along the wings. With little flow developing on both ends offensively, the Lancers kept the deficit within reach after Morrison executed a slip screen to the basket that cut a 13 point deficit to eight, 39-31 late in the quarter.
For what it was worth, all game East nullified any three-point shooting from North, as the Indians finished with just one three-point make that came in the game’s final minutes. Unlike the original game plan, they did this to neutralize North’s two important scorers. The Lancers’ shot at a comeback succumbed directly after senior forward Luke Ehly fouled out fresh in the fourth quarter. With a tired bench, Jay Guastello and Henry Sullivan carried East’s scoring in the latter stages of the game.
Although it wasn’t enough, one of the more poignant plays in the game came in the final two minutes where North’s Michael Weathers clapped his hands in jubilation, after hammering home a breakaway dunk that sealed the Indians’ victory. The loss dropped the Lancers to 1-6, whereas the victory for North bolstered their record to 4-2.
Notable Takeaways: Trevor Thompson, for the duration of the game, appeared to look steady as East’s primary ball handler. Despite turning it over late amidst contingent pressure by North’s guards in the backcourt, Thompson and Alex Glazer could potentially seek out chemistry to provide the Lancers more chances to win the rest of the season. With Thompson’s decisive passing and Glazer’s dependable spot-up shooting, this can enforce a new wrinkle for the Lancers offense. On the other end, defensively, forwards Henry Sullivan and Jay Guastello held their own well when East decided to go small.
Floor Burns: Not only were both teams well beyond the double-bonus before halftime, but in total, there were 70+ fouls distributed for the entire game. In addition, Shawnee Mission East never scored more than 16 points in one quarter of play.
Individual Scoring total for the Lancers:
Davis Morrison– 13 points
Alex Glazer– 9 points
Henry Sullivan- 9 points
Mark Ward– 6 points
Jay Guastello- 4 points
Trevor Thompson– 4 points
Luke Ehly– 2 points
Ryan Dornbusch– 2 points
Connor Rieg– 1 point