Photos by Lucy Morantz
The Lancer boys varsity basketball team beat Shawnee Mission South, 61-49 on the Raiders’ home court on Tuesday in a heated game against their district rivals.
The Lancers started slowly, even though they got good looks their shots didn’t fall early. The Raiders took a sloppy 4-0 lead, but the Lancers found their rhythm with the help of junior Zane Meeks and senior Jack Schoemann, who finished with 12 points and 11 points respectively.
Meeks had four points in the first quarter to help steady the offense and senior Jack Schoemann had a dunk that helped change the momentum back in East’s favor as the messy first quarter ended tied 7-7.
The Lancer and Raider offenses remained stagnant in the second quarter, with both teams settling for contested jump shots early.
The game began to open up when senior guard Will Curran checked in and had an instant impact. His two steals and an and-one layup kickstarted the offense. The faster pace favored the transition-heavy Lancers, who were able to get a few easy baskets to take an 18-16 lead going into halftime.
“I got extra shots up during lunch and before the bus ride,” Curran said when asked about his preparations for the big game. “I also talked to coach about what he wanted to see from me and went into the game knowing I was going to have to step it up, we needed to get that win.”
The Lancers came out of halftime energized and ready to build their lead. Schoemann and Meeks led the way offensively with 11 combined points in the quarter. The Lancers also increased their defensive intensity, by switching to a two-three zone that made it difficult for the Raiders to drive the ball. East pushed the lead to 10 on a big three-point shot from Schoemann. At the end of the third quarter, the score was 36-26.
South’s chances for a comeback took a hit when freshman forward Erik Smith got called for a shooting foul on Curran with 6 min left in the game. Then senior forward Hunter Schneider argued with the referee who gave him a technical foul, which gave East four free throws and the ball. Curran made three out of the four foul shots.
The Raiders did not give up though, as they cut the Lancer lead to eight after making back-to-back threes midway through the fourth. South’s brief run was thwarted when Schoemann rejected senior guard Nick Wissel’s layup, sending the East student section into a frenzy.
“It got so loud (after the block) we had to wait like 20 seconds until we could chant “you got swatted” because no one could hear us,” said senior chant leader Thomas Luger.
With the momentum and a 49-41 lead, the Lancers gave South no chance at a comeback largely because of Schoemann and senior guard Kelyn Bolton. Bolton went eight of 12 from the free-throw line and Schoemann threw down a thunderous two-handed dunk to seal the game, 61-49.
“After my dunk, I just stared at the student section and really just took it all in because it was an awesome moment. There is no better feeling than dunking against your arch-rival to end the game,” Schoemann said.
Senior Jack Schoemann goes through a pre-game handshake routine with fellow senior Jack Workman
Coach Shawn Hair huddles his team close to discuss their strategy for the game
Senior Jack Shoeman dunks the ball early in the first quarter
Seniors Cooper McCullough (left) and Will Benjamin (right) cheer on the Lancers basketball team