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The boys’ basketball team beat SM West 38-37 in heart wrenching fashion this past Friday. The Lancers trailed by a point with nine seconds to go, before senior Vance Wentz hit a jumper with three seconds left giving them the victory by the slimmest of margins.
“Right after [SM West] scored I just started taking off down the court and [Coach Shawn Hair] called timeout,” Wentz said. “We were able to draw up a good play and get the ball in bounds. I got the ball and started dribbling and nobody really stepped in front of me or stopped me so I just kept going. I pulled up and didn’t think too much and it just went in.”
The game was back and forth the entire way through. The Vikings’ 2-3 zone kept both Wentz and senior Chase Hanna in check throughout the game. Despite Hanna’s off night shooting with only two points and Wentz having his worst scoring output of the season with only five points, senior Zach Schneider was able to fill the gap and led the Lancers with 18 points. He also had eight rebounds.
Sophomore Lucas Jones was close to a double-double, with a eight points and a team high nine rebounds. The Lancers dominated the glass, winning the rebound margin 22-14. Senior Connor McGannon provided some key minutes off the bench for the Lancers, with three points and a two assists.
“It was a huge win for us,” McGannon said. “Varsity hasn’t won at West for the past three years, and it is always a tough place to play. It’s always a scrappy, low scoring game, so coming out with even a one point win is huge for us.”
For SM West, senior Jay Temaat led the team with 14 points. Not far behind was senior Kyle Summers, with nine points. They each had a team high three steals. Summers gave the Vikings the lead with nine seconds, before Wentz’s two pointer with three seconds on the clock.
“We had plenty of time, and I feel like we didn’t really panic,” McGannon said. “We got it to Vance and Vance is definitely a good enough player to make something happen which he did.”
Not to be forgotten, Zach Schneider sealed the Lancer’s victory with a steal to run out the clock. He was soon greeted by the SM East student section, who stormed the court at the conclusion of the game.
“I was a fun game to play in,” Wentz said. “We had a ton of fans there, they had a ton of fans there. It was really loud, and everyone was really into it even the parents, on both sides. We kind of got the sense that it was going to come down to the wire.”
The teams next game is against Maize on Thursday Jan. 17, part of the McPherson Invitational. Check out a preview of the McPherson Tournament here.
The team started the week on a high note. SM East defeated Olathe North 61-32 on Dec. 8. They were able to rebound and penetrate the Olathe North defense which allowed them to get an early lead. Junior Erin McGinley and senior Grace Pickell lead the team in scoring with 11.
“We always do better at home. We were playing more as a team, we were actually running an offense,” Pickell said.
The Lancers had their second game on Dec. 10. The team held their ground until the last two minutes in the game. Winning going into the fourth quarter, the team lost their lead and went down in defeat 36-32 to SM West.
“We truly did not play as a team,” Pickell said. “We each played only for ourselves so we didn’t execute like we know how to. None of us rebounded and I couldn’t get open. I had no points which hurt us on a team of seven. We were almost moving in slow motion, especially on offense.”
The Friday following the SM West game, the Lancers had a shooting practice to help fix the problems they faced in the previous game.
“We we couldn’t hit any shots on Thursday at the West game,” Pickell said. “On Saturday we worked on fundamentals — shooting drills, rebounding drills, post moves.”
The Lancers plan on transferring their work in practice to their next game that will take place tomorrow against Olathe Northwest.
This past weekend the Varsity Wrestling team placed 20th out of 37 teams in the Bobcat classic. John Reuter placed 8th and Michael Aldrich placed 6th. JV competed at SM Northwest but didn’t keep a team score.
“We did have quite a few [JV] guys get gold,” Wrestling Coach Chip Ufford said . “and few guys get silver medals.”
The team is training for their next meet which is Tuesday at Blue Valley Northwest for JV and Wednesday at Blue Valley West for Varsity and JV. They also have a meet at Paola High School this Saturday.
“We’re gonna battle it out [at our next meet],” Junior Grant Hollingsworth said. “We’ve just got to stay off of our backs, anything we can do.”
The past week was not only the first week of practice for the bowling team, but their first week of competition. After just the three days, the boys’ and girls’ bowling team put on a solid display with third place at a tournament on Wednesday, Jan. 9, and second at a quad the following day.
Even after a strong start, head coach Patricia Kennedy said they will be looking to improve on their fundamentals of the game.
“Each day is an opportunity to look at individual students and what they need to individually improve on, but with 28 kids it’s hard to identify and work individually with each one, “ Kennedy said. “We just need to improve on our form and position and working on getting the ball down the lane and hitting pins.”
Boys’ swimming had a home meet last Thursday, winning every single event but one. Multiple swimmers recorded personal best times, and junior Peter Milledge earned two state qualifying times in the 50 free and 150 free.
The boys have continued to make it through increasingly tough practices after winter break, and now that all of their swimmers have come back from swimming with their club teams to return to the high school season, Junior Ian Lee says the team has started to “get into the groove of things”.
Their next meet will be this Thursday against BV North, a huge rival. The next day, Friday, will be senior night at home against SM Northwest.
“We are going to try and get one more home win for all the graduating senior swimmers,” Lee said.