Every year one of the biggest highlights in the Lady Lions season is their post season banquet and celebration.
And this edition of the Lady Lions had ALOT to celebrate.
From going a combined 36-22 with the varsity finishing 17-5 the 2nd best record since 2008, JV went 5-9, the Sophomores 5-7 and the Freshmen a stellar 9-1, to LHS most wins in the Sunflower League with 10 and finishing 2nd in the league for the best finish in decades to advancing to the substate championship for the 4th straight season.
And more importantly, the relationships and family bond the players and coaches built and formed over the last several years.
And to honor our 4 seniors, Asia Goodwin, Tyrin Cosey, E'lease Stafford and Talima Harjo.
We honored our Varsity Letter Winners for the 2017-2018 season:
Managers: Joe Slaugh, McKenzie Stevens, Alex Haynes, Neo Astroga, Kenton Felmlee, Anna DeWitt and Mikey Williams
Freshman: Ozi Ajekwu
Sophomores: Ella Stewart, Sophie DeWitt
Juniors: Chisom Ajekwu, Hannah Stewart, Sammy Williams, Leslie Ostronic, Evann Seratte.
Seniors: E’lease Stafford, Tyrin Cosey, Asia Goodwin, Talima Harjo
Then we announced the winners of the coveted Lawrence High Lady Lions Basketball Team Awards for 2017-2018:
LHS LADY LION TEAM AWARDS 2017-2018
LADY LION NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Ella Stewart and Ozi Ajekwu
LADY LION REBOUNDING AWARD-This award goes to our best rebounder.
Chisom Ajekwu- 211 rebounds and averaged 10 a game
LADY LION INTENSITY AWARD-This award goes to the player who brings the most intensity and hard work every day every drill year around!
Talima Harjo and Hannah Stewart
LADY LION “CHARGE”-This award goes to the player who sacrifices for the team and takes the most charges in a season.
Hannah Stewart and Sammy Williams
LADY LION MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR-This award goes to the player who improves the most throughout the course of the season.
Leslie Ostronic, Ozi Ajekwu, Sophie DeWitt
LADY LION OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR- This award goes to our best and most consistent creator of offense
E’lease Stafford Scored 341 Points, average 15.5 points a game and had 2.2 assists a game
Chisom Ajekwu Scored 252 Points averaged 12 Points a game
LADY LION DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR-This award goes to our best defensive player.
Talima Harjo and Tyrin Cosey
LADY LION TEAMMATE OF THE YEAR AWARD-This award goes to the very best , positive, most unselfish teammate.
Hannah Stewart, Sammy Williams, Leslie Ostronic and Tracy Allen
LADY LION MANAGER OF THE YEAR-This award honors the Manager in our program with the biggest positive impact
LADY LION LEADERSHIP AWARD-This award goes to our very best leaders on and off the court.
Hannah Stewart, Talima Harjo and E’lease Stafford
LHS LADY LION OF THE YEAR-This award goes to the player who best exemplifies all of the qualities of being a Lawrence High Lady Lion: Hard work, Toughness, Heart, Passion and Compassion, Dedication and Work Ethic.
After that as is tradition we had each of our seniors give their senior speeches before some amazing gifts were presented to the coaches!!
After cookies and some incredible cake, the team settled in to watch our amazing highlight video before the evening ended with players and families taking pictures and spending time together.
All in all another very successful and fun season with an amazing group!!
The Lawrence High Lady Lions have battled and fought all season long and have had a spectacular year and unfortunately it came to an end at the hands of the Olathe South Lady Falcons who edged LHS 53-47.
It was a hard fought game by both teams and OS made a few more plays than your amazing Lady Lions from Lawrence High.
LHS finishes their outstanding year at 17-5.
Scott Chasen and Carter Gaskins from the LJ World covered the game. Please click the link below to see their outstanding work.
It was another big time performance at the defensive end of the floor that has propelled the Lawrence High Lady Lions into their 4th straight substate championship game.
They did so by defeating the tough Shawnee Mission East Lancers 57-34. And they did it with strong team basketball and stellar defense through out the game.
LHS broke open a close game and outscored SME 35-20 in the second half with a solid and balanced offense.
E'lease Stafford had 18 points, Chisom Ajekwu added 13 and Leslie Ostronic had 10 points.
The win is LHS 17th on the season against only 4 losses. Next up the substate championship game vs Olathe South.
The Award Winning Chris Duderstadt was there for the LJ World and filed this report:
Senior night is always a special time at Lawrence High and very special to the players and managers in the Lady Lion Basketball Program.
We have amazing senior players in Tyrin Cosey, Asia Goodwin, Talima Harjo and E'lease Stafford and managers Joe Slaugh, Alex Haynes, McKenzie Stevens and Kenton Felmlee.
The team wanted to honor those awesome kids and that is exactly what they did by beating Olathe South 42-27.
LHS lead from start to finish and capped a 16-4 regular season and finished 2nd in the very tough Sunflower League with a 10-3 record.
Wesley Dotson and Mike Yoder were there for the game. Please click the link below for their coverage:
The Lady Lion Basketball team has had to battle the elements the last several days just trying to get practices and games in. After wind and ice, LHS had to brave the road to face off vs one of the top teams in the state in the Olathe Northwest Ravens.
Anytime two of the top teams in the state face off you expect a back and forth battle and that is exactly what we got.
ONW had the edge at the half leading 25-23 before the Lady Lions exploded with a big third quarter outscoring the Ravens 25-15.
The 4th quarter saw Olathe Northwest hit a nice run before LHS settled things down and escaped with the big win.
Senior E'lease Stafford and Junior Chisom Ajekwu each had 16 points to pace Lawrence High to the victory. The win improved LHS to 15-4 on the season and 9-3 in the Sunflower League.
The incredible Scott Chasen from the LJW was there and please click below to read his story.
If there is an easy place in the Sunflower League to win on the road, the LHS Lady Lions certainly have not found it. Every game is a tough, brutal match up and Friday Night was no different.
But in spite of the rough play and multiple players being knocked to the floor, LHS gutted their way through a 60-49 victory of SM South.
The balanced team scoring paved the way for the Lady Lion win with Senior E'lease Stafford throwing in 20 points with Junior Chisom Ajekwu adding 15. Junior Hannah Stewart chipped in 12 points and Senior Tyrin Cosey added 7. Junior Leslie Ostronic had 5 points.
The win moved LHS to 14-4 and 8-3 in the Sunflower League.
Our star reporter Bobby Nightengale covered the game and a link to his story is below. Make sure you check it out!
Shaking off the frustration of letting one get away from them last Friday night, the LHS Lady Lions were determined to not let something like that happen again this season.
As they watched their once 16 point lead slip away, they were faced with a choice: relax and refocus or panic and let history repeat itself.
Luckily for the Lady Lion Faithful, those resilient Lady Lions regrouped, refocused and when on to a thrilling 51-45 victory over SMNW.
Junior Chisom Ajekwu led the charge, scoring 19 points and grabbing critical rebounds late in the game. Junior Leslie Ostronic came up HUGE with game saving free throws going 3-4 from the line in the game deciding moments.
Cue Senior Talima Harjo with a couple of game ending steals that allowed the Lady Lions to knock off the #8 Ranked team in 6A.
The Lady Lions ranked #10 in 6A improved to 13-4 and 7-3 in the Sunflower League.
The Award Winning Chris Duderstadt from several local news outlets was there to cover the game for both schools. Please click the links below to see his outstanding work:
They say all good things must come to an end and unfortunately for the Lady Lions, the end of their good (6 games) winning streak came Friday Night vs SM West, 46-44 in overtime.
The surging Lady Viking had already knocked off a pair of ranked teams in Olathe South and Gardner Edgerton and they added LHS to that impressive list.
The Lady Lions appeared to be in control on the game before missing 8 straight free throws to breathe new life into the SM West and they capitalized on it for their 10 win on the season. The loss dropped LHS to 12-4 and 6-3 in the Sunflower League.
The Dynamic Duo of Bobby Nightengale and Mike Yoder from the LJ World saw the carnage firsthand, please click below for their work:
LHS went on the road Tuesday to the beautiful new campus of Olathe West High School. It was the first meeting between these two programs and although OW is a brand new school their girls basketball team they are still very talented, hard working and extremely well coached.
So the Lady Lions definitely had their work cut out for them. Fortunately LHS experience was a big factor as the Lady Lions were able to jump out to an early 16-2 lead on their way to a big 65-40 victory.
Senior E'lease Stafford continued to be one of the best players in the Kansas, going for 23 points and playing outstanding defense.
The win improved LHS to 12-3 and 6-2 in the Sunflower League on the season.
Scott Chasen from the LJ World was there for us again and filed this report:
With what seems like very few home games on the schedule, the Lady Lions wanted to make sure they defended their home court vs the visiting Olathe North Lady Eagles.
And with stingy team defense LHS were able to do just that, holding Olathe North to zero points for the first quarter jumping out to an early 13-0 lead.
From their the Lady Lions defense turned into offense as they exploded for 23 2nd quarter points on their way to a 36 to 10 halftime lead.
In the second half LHS maintain their defensive intensity on their way to a 50-26 victory. The win was the Lady Lion's 5th in a row.
LHS was led in scoring by Senior E'lease Stafford who had 17 points, Senior Talima Harjo added 14 points and Junior Chisom Ajekwu chipped in 9. The win improved LHS record to 11-3 and 5-2 in the Sunflower League on the season.
The amazing Bobby Nightengale from the LJ World was there to cover the game. Please click the link below for the article:
The LHS Lady Lions went on the road Tuesday to play the scrappy SM East Lady Lancers. And everyone know how hard it is to win in the Sunflower League on the road especially at SME and this game was no exception.
It was a back and forth affair with LHS edging the Lancers 13-10 after one quarter of play. Senior E'lease Stafford started to get on track knocking in several shots to help push the Lady Lion lead to 10 points by halftime.
LHS added to that in the third quarter to go up by 13 but SME would not go away as they battled back and never quit. But Stafford who went for 25 points on the night and the rest of the Lady Lions like Junior Sammy Williams who added 12 points were able to hold off SME and win 50-38.
Once again Scott Chasen along with Mike Gunnoe for the Lawrence Journal-World were present for all the exciting action. Please click below to read their words and see their awesome pictures:
The Lawrence High Lady Lions finished their midseason tournament winning their last two games. LHS came into the matchup with Harmon with plans to continue their winning wins and that is exactly what they did. The Lady Lions jumped out to a big lead and defeated Harmon 65-5.
The talented Scott Chasen and Mike Yoder from the LJ World filed this report:
In looking for a new mid season tournament, the Lady Lions were wanting even tougher competition than they usually saw and they found it in the Truman Tournament at Truman High School in Independence Missouri.
Truman is a perennial state power along with powerhouses Rock Bridge, Liberty, Lee's Summit, Aquinas from the Kansas side and always tough Blue Springs South and Raytown.
For their first round game LHS drew 13-2 Liberty who had already beaten Aquinas this season.
After playing maybe their best first quarter all season and taking a 15-8 lead over the talented group from Liberty, the LHS offense dried up and they could not make a basket and only scored 17 points the rest of the way losing 53-32.
The Lady Lions battled hard through out the game and were within 7 heading in the 4th quarter but could not get over the hump dropping their first game in a tournament for the first time in 3 seasons.
Lawrence High's second round opponent wasn't any easier in Lee's Summit who reached the state championship game last season and returned UMKC signee Claire Lock.
Once again it was the 2nd quarter that was the break out for the Lady Lions and they turned a 12-10 first quarter lead into a 35-20 half time lead.
Lee's Summit was not going to just go away and they battled back outscoring LHS 11-6 in the third to tighten up the game heading into the 4th.
Despite some poor defense and putting Lock on the free throw line repeatedly, the Lady Lions extended their lead and went on to win 57-45.
That win set up a match up with the talented and scrappy bunch from Blue Spring South. BSS jumped all over LHS in the first quarter, jumping out to a 14-7 lead.
After a spirited team huddle, the Lady Lions were ready to battle back and went on a strong run outscoring BSS 19-5 in the 2nd quarter to take a 26-19 halftime lead.
The 2nd half was a back and forth battle with Lawrence High ultimately outscoring BSS 25-20 to hold on to a 51-39 victory.
Although fighting illness, Junior Chisom Ajekwu was dominant in the game. Chisom scored 19 points and added 13 rebounds to help pace the Lady Lions to victory. Senior E'lease Stafford added 12 points.
The back to back wins improved the LHS record to 8-3 and they will next be in action on Thursday vs Harmon.
The Lawrence Journal World's Bobby Nightengale did an amazing job covering all of the games. Please click below for those articles:
The Lawrence High Lady Lions hit the road Friday to play the always tough and scrappy Shawnee Mission North squad.
SMN has one of the Sunflower League's top scorers in sophomore Lele Love who entered the game averaging 18.4 points a game. And the in the 1st quarter it was a tough battle with LHS holding a slight 10-5 lead.
The second quarter was a different story with LHS exploding on offense combined with strong defense as they outscored SMN 27-9 to take a 37 to 14 lead that they never gave up.
Senior Talima Harjo had a game high 22 points, Junior Leslie Ostronic had 12 points with Senior E'lease Stafford and Junior Chisom Ajekwu chipping in 10 a piece. The win improved the Lady Lions to 6-2 on the season.
The very talented Chris Duderstadt from the LJ World and Shawnee Dispatch was there to cover all the action, please read his story and see his awesome pictures by clicking the link below:
Lawrence High senior E’lease Stafford was nominated for the McDonald’s All-American basketball game, announced Wednesday.
Stafford was named the Sunflower League’s co-Most Valuable Player last season and was one of seven players nominated from Kansas. Signed to play at East Tennessee State, Stafford is averaging 14.4 points through the first seven games of the season.
From the 424 girls nominated across the country, the final 24-player roster will be announced Tuesday. The game is scheduled for March 28 in Atlanta.
The Lawrence High Lady Lions continued their tough home schedule in 2018 hosting the #1 team in 6A Olathe East. It was a defensive struggle early with OE taking a 9-6 lead into the 2nd quarter.
Olathe extended that lead to 22 to 14 by the half. The 3rd quarter was closer to vintage Lady Lion Basketball as they battled back to cut the lead to 4 on two occasions but the top ranked Lady Hawks fought back with runs of their own to maintain control of the game.
In the 4th OE spread the floor to stall and ice the game and used their free throw skills to hold on to the victory.
The LJ World's Scott Chasen was there and wrote this story:
2018 did not get off to a great start for the Lawrence High Lady Lions Basketball team as they dropped a 45-42 decision to the visiting Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers.
LHS led by 7 at the half and by 1 heading into the 4th quarter but defensive breakdowns and the stellar play of senior guard Skylar Washington from GE helped GE to the victory.
Bobby Nightengale and Mike Yoder from the Lawrence Journal World filed this report:
The talented Bobby Nightengale from the Lawrence Journal World wrote a nice feature on our own Chisom Ajekwu. Please click the link below to read this great article.
The Lawrence High Lady Lion Freshman and Sophomore teams have gotten off to a great start. Coached by Angie May and David Platt, these ladies have been working hard at doing things the Lady Lion Way this season!
Our outstanding Freshman Team is now 4-1 with wins versus Topeka High, Hayden, Olathe South and a 45-20 road victory vs Free State. their sole loss was a close 20-16 game vs St. Thomas Aquinas. The Lady Lion Sophomores are 2-2 on the year losing to Aquinas and Olathe South and defeating Leavenworth 38-18 and Free State 52-31.
Great job so far ladies, we are all expecting big things out of you, so keep working hard, taking care of your academics and making all of us so proud of you!!!
The Lawrence High Lady Lions had a rough week. They had to survive illness, injuries, finals and of course the #2 Ranked Team in Class 5A, The Leavenworth Lady Pioneers who they had not beaten since 2012 when our current seniors were in the 6th grade.
But survive they did overcoming a slow start that saw LHS down by as many as 13 in the first half and not getting the lead until a Chisom Ajekwu bucket with 30 seconds remaining but LHS found a way to pull out a 43-41 Sunflower League victory. The Lady Lions ranked #2 in 6A closed out the 2017 portion of the season 5-0 and 2-0 in the Sunflower League.
Chisom led the way for LHS with 16 points and 14 rebounds, senior E'lease Stafford added 14 points and 9 rebounds and some critical steals late in the game.
The sensational Bobby Nightengale from the LJ World was on the road with us and filed this report:
The Lawrence High Lady Lions overcame a slow start to win their fifth consecutive City Showdown outscoring Free State 47-23 in the second half to win going away 63-47.
The first quarter at Allen Fieldhouse was all Free State as they dominated from the tip outscoring the Lady Lions 11-5.
The Lady Lions didn't start to get on track until 2 minutes remaining in the first half, when they hit a 8-2 run to close within 24-16 at the half.
The 3rd quarter was all Lady Lions especially Senior E'lease Stafford who knocked in 12 of her 16 points in the quarter to led LHS. The Lady Lions exploded on the offensive end scoring a whopping 32 points while holding the Firebirds to 13 in the frame. Junior Chisom Ajekwu also came alive in the 2nd half finishing with 17 points and 13 rebounds and dominating on both ends of the floor. Senior Talima Harjo knocked in a pair of 3s and finished with 13 points. Juniors Hannah Stewart and Sammy Williams each finished with 7 points a piece.
The win improves LHS to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in the Sunflower League.
The Amazing Chris Duderstadt and Mike Yoder from the LJ World were there for all the excitement. Please click the link below to see their words and pictures.
A balance scoring attack led by the Lady Lion Basketball Seniors helped LHS to a 64-23 road victory at Wyandotte.
LHS was led in scoring by Senior E'lease Stafford who had 12, Seniors Asia Goodwin and Tyrin Cosey added 11 a piece and Freshman Ozi Ajewku chipped in 8 points.
With the win Lawrence High improved to 3-0 on the season and moved in the 2nd spot in the 6A rankings.
Please click the link below for the Lawrence Journal World's coverage:
The Lawrence High Lady Lions picked up their 2nd victory in the new season defeating the Hayden Lady Wildcats 61-49.
After a see saw battle in the first half that saw both teams hitting big shots, LHS squeaked out a 29-27 halftime lead. Senior Talima Harjo knocked in 12 points in the first half to keep LHS in the lead.
The second half saw the Lady Lions pick up the intensity outscoring Hayden 32 to 22 with Junior Chisom Ajewku scoring many of her 16 points in the decisive 4th quarter. Ajekwu had 14 rebounds to go along with her offensive output.
Senior E'lease Stafford added 16 points and 11 rebounds as well.
LHS who began the season ranked in the Top 5 in 6A for the first time in many years have climbed now to 3rd overall in the 6A rankings and will face Wyandotte next Tuesday.
Once again our good friend Bobby Nightengale along with awesome photography by Ashley Hocking were there to cover the action. Please click the link below to see their work.
Topeka Capital Journal Article:
The Lawrence High Lady Lion Basketball Team started their 2017-2018 season on the road at one of the most historic high school gyms in the country, the Dungeon at Topeka High School.
But lucky for LHS, the ghosts of the Dungeon got shooed away after a rough start and the Lady Lions picked up a 52-28 victory over the Lady Trojans.
LHS playing without several players due to illness and injury found themselves down 6-2 in the opening minutes before battling back to take a 9-6 lead after the 1st Quarter.
The Lady Lions continued to build on that in the 2nd quarter opening up a 26-17 halftime lead. And the second half was all Lawrence High as they outscored THS 26 to 11.
Bobby Nightengale from the LJ World was there to cover the game and you can read his awesome article by clicking the link below:
Topeka Capital Journal Article:
Our own E'Lease Stafford recently signed her NLI with East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. This is an excerpt of the article from ETSU:
Ezell signs four during early signing period
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 14, 2017) – Head coach Brittney Ezell announced on Tuesday the signings of Amaya Adams (Kansas City, Mo.), Shynia Jackson (Warner Robbins, Ga.), E’Lease Stafford (Lawrence, Kan.), and Kaia Upton (Nashville, Tenn.) to National Letters of Intent to join the program for the 2018-19 season.
“As a whole, the versatility in this class is going to be impactful, said head coach Brittney Ezell. “The fact that all four of them have won in multiple levels of competition was importance to us. All four are high character kids. All four come from winning programs and are leaders in their own right. We’re really excited to see how this class continues to come together. We’re honored and thankful that they chose to be a part of what we’re doing at East Tennessee State University.”
E’LEASE STAFFORD – 5’11 FORWARD – LAWRENCE, KAN. – LAWRENCE HIGH SCHOOL
For the full article please click the link below! CONGRATULATIONS E'Lease!