Archive for Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bonner Springs boys can’t keep up with league-leading Lansing in rematch

February 8, 2012, 12:54 a.m.

Updated: February 9, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

Early in the second half there were flirtations, but the magic just wasn’t there this time. Not when Bonner Springs boys basketball and Lansing met once more.

It took two overtimes and a pair of three-point daggers for Lansing to put away Bonner Springs in their first meeting. But on Tuesday, the Lions (14-1, 9-0) never relinquished the lead, winning 44-34 and further tightening their grip on the Kaw Valley League.

“It was hard for us to get a good shot,” coach Andy Price said.

Price said the length and physicality of Lansing’s defense disrupted his team’s thought process. Each shot, he said, was attempted with the expectation of being blocked or fouled. That expectation — coupled with a handful of actual blocks — kept the Braves from finishing their shot attempts.

B.J. Watson led the Braves with 12 points, including the team’s only successful three-point shot. Watson was 2-of-4 from the free-throw line in the final eight minutes.

Brett Steuart scored 7 points, but was kept off the board in the fourth quarter.

J.J. Jackson scored the Braves’ only field goal in the fourth quarter, finishing with six points.

Bonner Springs held the Lions’ leading scorer, Izaiah Grice, to just two points off a lone first-quarter bucket.

Lucas Mein and Khalil Bailey were another story. Mein — who finished with a game-high 17 points — was a force in the first half, scoring 10 points. Bailey took over for Lansing in the second half, himself scoring 10 points. Young added nine points.

Each team looked rough in the early stages, taking turns giving up the ball and missing below-the-basket attempts. The first quarter was a sprint in which just one foul was called and few whistles sounded otherwise. It was in the opening frame, the latter half of which saw Bonner Springs go scoreless, that the Braves developed a deficit they’d find themselves chasing all night.

Down 12-6, the Braves opened the second quarter with four consecutive missed shots from beyond the arc, two of which turned into points in transition for Lansing. The Lions built and maintained a 10-point lead heading into halftime.

It was then that a repeat of the two teams’ early-season classic became a possibility. Shots started to fall for the Braves, Lansing put Bonner Springs at the free-line, and, before long, it was a three-point game. A 15-point third quarter — fueled by five points from both Jordaine Jackson and Watson — made the home crowd dare to believe and the Bonner Springs student section rib the visiting crowd for being so quiet all of a sudden.

It wouldn’t last. Three points became four, which soon swelled to seven. The Lions, by no means playing a flawless game, were still able to keep Bonner Springs at a stiff arm’s length.

The defeat puts Bonner Springs (11-4, 6-3) behind Lansing and Basehor-Linwood (whom the Braves play on the road in the season’s final game on Feb. 24) with losses to each and now two against first-place Lansing.

The Braves will need a lot of breaks to go their way to win a league title, but Price said the season’s focus is unchanged: state.

With Topeka Hayden and Basehor-Linwood in Bonner Springs’ substate bracket, Price said his team’s goal is to do what it can to secure a top seed in the tournament.

“We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves,” Price said.

Bonner Springs hosts Mill Valley (9-6, 6-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The two teams last met in December, a three-point victory for the Braves.


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