E'lease Stafford, the Lady Lions senior guard and co-player of the year in the Sunflower League was named to the Native Top 50 this season and was selected to play in their All Star game held at Haskell University.
It is a fantastic honor for a fantastic person and we are all very proud of E'lease.
Every summer the LHS Lady Lions finish off their summer schedule with some of the best 3 on 3 battles in the country. These girls know how to fight and compete and more importantly have a lot of fun!
This summer over 40 girls participated in 3 on 3 with the Hannah Stewart-Leslie Ostronic captained squad winning the Grand Prize of Krispy Kreme Donuts!
A great time was had by all and it was a blast to end such an amazing summer with amazing people this way!
It's hard to believe that just four short summer ago, the LHS Lady Lion Basketball team only could field one squad in the SMS Summer League. But those days are long gone as the SMS Summer League has morphed into the Meadowlark Summer League now held at SMNW, The Lady Lions now have three teams that compete with over 30 girls playing on those teams.
As the program continues to improve and grow, our kids are provided more and more opportunities to get better. And this summer was no exception.
The Varsity squad battled and competed hard vs the likes of BVSW, BV, SMNW, ONW, Aquinas, BVNW, OE and OS finishing the league 2-6. LHS knows they have their work cut out for them to improve and pass the teams that beat them.
The JV White Squad finished the league, 4-4 knocking off FS, BVNW, BVSW and St. Teresa's and losing to SMNW, Sion, ONW, OW's Varsity.
The JV Black squad competed hard all summer long and finished their league with a record of 2-6 defeating MV and Sion and losing to both SMNW's teams, GE, BVSW, BVNW and St. Teresa's.
All of our players gained valuable experience and team bonding and now know where they stand if they want to remain one of the top programs in the state. We all have to get to WORK!!!
Never a group to shy away from hard work, the Lady Lions continued their tough summer schedule by traveling to Creighton University for their team camp.
LHS faced off vs Legacy SD, Centennial, Bismarck, SD, Millard West NE, Sheyenne and Kearney, NE. They battled through fatigue and injury to pick up wins vs Legacy and Bismarck and losing their other four games.
Your Lady Lions handled the adversity well and got closer and closer together as a family and as a team. Their toughness and grace will help mold them into a special group as their careers progress. We are very proud of these young ladies.
As part of their rigorous and busy summer, the LHS Lady Lion Basketball Team traveled to the University of Nebraska to play some top talent from out of state.
LHS faced off vs very talented squads from East Des Moines, Southeast Polk and Omaha North. The Lady Lions won a hard fought battle vs East Des Moines 71-67, dropped their second game to Southeast Polk before knocking off Omaha North 58-47.
The Lady Lions were treated as special guest by the entire University of Nebraska Women's Basketball coaches and players especially Coach Chuck Love and Head Coach Amy Williams and Salina's own Emily Wood.
It was an amazing time with top notch people and a great experience for every one involved!!
The Lady Lions traveled to Stillwater Oklahoma to face some of the top competition in the Midwest.
LHS was placed in a pool with Choctaw, OK (25-1 & State Champs last season),Classen, OK (28-3), Sand Springs (24-2), Emporia (14-8) Frenship, TX (26-9) and Fort Gibson, OK (29-1 & 2nd in State Last Season)
It is the kind of competition the Lady Lions desire in their efforts to win their own state championship.
LHS opened the camp defeating Emporia 36-18 before losing a close down to the wire game with Fort Gibson 36-31. The Lady Lions then upset the top team in the camp Sand Springs 38-33. The Lady Lions showed tremendous grit and toughness and still had to come back for three more games the next day.
Day Two saw LHS survive injuries and fatigue in defeating Classen 45-33, losing to Choctaw and then overcoming a 6 point deficient with less than 2 minutes remaining beating Frenship 35-31 with E'lease Stafford's free throw giving LHS the lead for the first time in the game and Hannah Stewart's banked in floater to seal the deal. The Lady Lions finished 4-2 in the toughest pool at Oklahoma State and now headed to bracket play on Sunday.
Sunday's match up was with the extremely talented Muldrow, OK Bulldogs (19-5) and while LHS battled Muldrow pulled out the victory.
The Lady Lions were then treated to a tour by Legendary Washburn Rural coach and Assistant at Oklahoma State Bill Annan, who shared some informative and inspirational word with the team.
All in all it was an amazing time for the Lawrence High Lady Lions!
The Lawrence High Lady Lions are dedicated to each other and working to be the very best they can be. And heading to a Team Building Exercise at the Tucker Leadership Lab at William Jewell is an example of that.
The group did team building and trust exercises and then reflected on the importance of pulling together and building life long relationships. It was an amazing day and time and we hope you enjoy the pictures below:
The Lawrence High Lady Lions had another successful summer camp with more than 50 girls traveling through the gym at one team or another.
The team worked hard doing drills and building relationships with our incoming freshmen and our youth players. It was a chance for the team to have fun and bond and being their work to stay one of the elite programs in the Midwest.
Bobby Nightengale and Nick Krug from the Lawrence Journal World were there and please click the link below to read and see their amazing work!!
Two of the greatest Lady Lions In Lawrence High History just accomplished a tremendous feat that not many people ever get the honor of doing: Signing a College Letter of Intent to play a sport at the college level.
For Skylar Drum and Olivia Lemus this was a dream a long time in the making. From their days at South Middle School to their four years at LHS, they both dreamed of the day that that would happen. And now it has.
Skylar signed with Central Missouri, one of the top soccer programs in the country to play soccer at the college level and Olivia signed with Ottawa University to run Cross Country and to play basketball.
Both colleges are outstanding and they are getting two of the very best that Lawrence High has to offer. Congratulations to two amazing and special student-athletes.
One of the greatest seasons in Lady Lion Basketball History was celebrated at the gala end of the season banquet recently. With over a 100 family and friends in attendance, the Lady Lions at all four levels enjoy a night of speeches, awards, great food, cake, video and plenty of smiles and tears.
This season the Lady Lions had tremendous success at all levels. They had a combined record of 47-25 with varsity at 18-5, JV at 12-6 , Sophomores at 7-7 and Freshman at 10-7. That is a fantastic accomplishment.
After our amazing coaches, Angie May, David Platt, Katie Biggers and Elissa Ojeda honored our even more amazing girls it was time for the varsity letter winners to reach their awards. And they are:
Our Varsity Letter Winners for the 2016-2017 season:
Managers: Joe Slaugh, McKenzie Stevens, Alex Haynes, Neo Astroga
Sophomores: Chisom Ajekwu, Hannah Stewart, Sammy Williams, Leslie Ostronic, Kiikto Thomas
Juniors: E’lease Stafford, Tyrin Cosey, Asia Goodwin, Tamo Thomas, Talima Harjo
Seniors: Skylar Drum, Madison McKinney, Olivia Lemus and Manager Christina Wilks
Then it was time for the coveted Lady Lion Basketball Team Awards:
LHS LADY LION TEAM AWARDS 2016-2017
LADY LION OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR- This award goes to our best and most consistent creator of offense
LADY LION DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR-This award goes to our best defensive player
LADY LION REBOUNDING AWARD-This award goes to our best rebounder.
LADY LION SHARPSHOOTER AWARD-This award honors the player of our program with the Best 3 Point Shooting Percentage
LADY LION TEAMMATE OF THE YEAR AWARD-This award goes to the very best , positive, most unselfish teammate.
Hannah Stewart and Madison McKinney
LADY LION MANAGER OF THE YEAR-This award honors the Manager in our program with the biggest positive impact
LADY LION INTENSITY AWARD-This award goes to the player who brings the most intensity and hard work every day every drill year around!
Skylar Drum 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.
LADY LION MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR-This award goes to the player who improves the most throughout the course of the season.
Sammy Williams and Tyrin Cosey
LADY LION LEADERSHIP AWARD-This award goes to our very best leaders on and off the court.
Olivia Lemus, Skylar Drum and Madison McKinney
LADY LION MOST INSPIRATIONAL PLAYER AWARD-This award goes to the most inspirational teammate and player.
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.
Skylar Drum and Olivia Lemus and Madison McKinney
Then our incredible seniors made their speeches and there wasn't a dry eye in the place. It was a tribute to how special all of our kids are and what sensational leaders our seniors are.
The evening was finished by some amazing presentations to the coaches by our outstanding players and their families and everyone settled in for the highlight video and cake that finished off the evening. All in all another magical season and ride we all got to go on and it will be one that everyone will remember for a long long time.
By Bobby Nightengale-LJ World
Player of the Year: E’lease Stafford, Lawrence
After recovering from a torn ligament in her left knee throughout the offseason, Stafford returned to the court and was named the co-Sunflower League Player of the Year. The 5-foot-11 junior wing, capable of scoring anywhere on the floor, averaged 13 points, five rebounds and two assists per game on her way to all-state honors.
Coach of the Year: Jeff Dickson, Lawrence
Leading the Lions back to the Class 6A state tournament for the first time since 2008, Dickson was named the Sunflower League’s Coach of the Year. The Lions advanced to state with sub-state wins over Wyandotte and Shawnee Mission South.
Chisom Ajekwu, Lawrence — At times, the 6-3 center was unstoppable in the low post. Ajekwu, a sophomore, earned third-team all-Sunflower League honors after averaging nine points and nine rebounds per game. Using her height to her advantage, she recorded a team-best 67 blocked shots.
Kayleigh Boos, Bishop Seabury — When the Seahawks needed a spark on offense, they usually turned to Boos. The 5-11 senior forward averaged a team-high 15 points, seven rebounds and two assists per game, and was tasked on defense as the team’s rim protector.
Abbi Folks, Perry-Lecompton — A leader on the court, Folks led the Kaws with 9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game, shooting 48 percent from the floor. The 5-7 senior, who led PLHS to an 8-13 record, was the team’s top defender and shot 73 percent at the free-throw line.
Alaina Howe, Eudora — Howe led the Cardinals in assists, setting up the offense and putting her teammates in the right spot for easier scoring opportunities. The 5-5 junior point guard scored a team-high eight points per game, receiving an all-Frontier League honorable mention.
Tori Huslig, Veritas Christian — A four-year starter, Huslig only improved year after year into one of the most dominant players in the KCAA. The senior, who helped the Eagles to fourth place at the state tournament, averaged 20.3 points per game. She finished her career with 1,756 points.
Taylor Lee, Tonganoxie — Lee rewrote the school’s record books in career 3-pointers (103) and single-season made 3’s (53). A first-team all-Kaw Valley League selection, the senior averaged 15.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals. She set a single-game scoring record with 40 points in December.
Olivia Lemus, Lawrence — When the Lions needed a lift on offense, Lemus was there to swish 3-pointers. Helping the Lions to an 18-5 record, the 5-5 senior guard averaged nine points, three rebounds and two assists per game, picking up an all-Sunflower League honorable mention.
Abby Ogle, Baldwin — Leading the Bulldogs to a 19-3 record, Ogle was her team’s catalyst on both ends of the court. The 5-8 junior was a first-team all-Frontier League selection, averaging 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 6.2 steals. She registered four triple-doubles, and set a school record for steals.
Madison Piper, Free State — The 5-11 forward earned first-team all-Sunflower League honors, averaging 15.9 points and 9.9 rebounds. Piper, signed to play at Santa Clara, missed the final eight games because of a broken ankle. She finished her career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,374 points.
Cameryn Thomas, Free State — Leading the Firebirds to a 13-7 record, the 5-7 Thomas was responsible for matching up against much taller opponents. Thomas, who received an all-Sunflower League honorable mention, averaged 9.8 points and 7.2 rebounds, adding 43 steals and 46 assists.
Jaelyn Two Hearts, Free State — During her first season in the starting lineup, Two Hearts provided consistent offense with an ability to shoot from the perimeter and drive to the rim. The junior averaged 10.1 points and 4.0 rebounds, earning third-team all-Sunflower League honors.
Taylor Cawley, Baldwin; Skylar Drum, Lawrence; Lexia Jamison, Perry-Lecompton; Caely Kesten, Free State; Kayla Kurtz, Baldwin; Carly Lindenmeyer, Baldwin; Holly Scott, Veritas Christian; Hannah Stewart, Lawrence; Celia Taylor-Puckett, Bishop Seabury.
The fantastic season by Lady Lion Basketball continues to get noticed around the state with the publication of the All State Teams by the Topeka Capital Journal, the Wichita Eagle Beacon and the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.
Junior E'lease Stafford was named First Team All 6A in The Topeka Capital Journal and the Wichita Eagle Beacon.
E'lease was also named third team All State Top 15 Girl's Players All Classes in both the Topeka Capital Journal and the Wichita Eagle Beacon.
E'lease was also named First Team All 6A from the KBCA for all of her accomplishments this season.
Lady Lion Sophomore Chisom Ajewku was named Honorable Mention All 6A by The Topeka Capital Journal and the Wichita Eagle Beacon as well.
Great job Ladies!!!
The Lawrence High Lady Lions outstanding season has not gone unnoticed by the Sunflower League coaches as all five starters for the Lady Lions received all league honors this season.
Junior E'lease Stafford who had an amazing year coming off an ACL injury was named co-player of the year in the Sunflower League along with the dynamic Sydney Wilson from Olathe East.
Sophomore Chisom Ajekwu was named 3rd Team All Sunflower League for her outstanding performance this season.
Seniors Skylar Drum and Olivia Lemus along with Sophomore Hannah Stewart were each named Honorable Mention All Sunflower League.
All these awards highlight the team success that all of our Lady Lions contributed to at each level this season. We are so proud of all of you and your accomplishments this season.
The complete Sunflower League Honors are listed below:
First team: Leyanna McGinnis, so., Olathe North; Terrion Moore, sr., Leavenworth; Madison Piper, sr., Free State; E'lease Stafford, jr., Lawrence; Sydney Wilson, jr., Olathe East.
Second team: Sarah Beth Gueldner, so., Olathe Northwest; Eylia Love, fr., SM North; Jordann Nachbar, jr., SM Northwest; DejaNae Roebuck, sr., Olathe South; Regan Schumacher, sr., Olathe East.
Third team: Chisom Ajekwu, so., Lawrence; Brooklyn Anderson, sr., Olathe North; Makayla Gooch, sr., Olathe South; Kyle Haverty, sr., SM East; Zoie Hayward, sr., Leavenworth; Aarika Lister, jr., Leavenworth; Kenzie Loe, sr., SM West; Emmalee Rose, sr., SM Northwest; Jaelyn Two Hearts, jr., Free State; Lexy Watts, sr., Olathe North.
Honorable mention: Free State: Cameryn Thomas; Lawrence: Olivia Lemus, Skylar Drum, Hannah Stewart; Leavenworth: Alyche' Brown; Olathe East: Caroline Hoppock, Cameron Kincaid, Jordan Rehagen; Olathe North: Jaida Kenana; Olathe Northwest: Maddie Heise, Sami Marks; Olathe South: Kaiti Butaud, Olathe South; SM East: Jordan Yowell; SM Northwest: Hannah Black, Gena Ojeda; SM South: Robyn MacDonald, Madi McAvoy, Karoline Shelton; SM North: Hannah Redick; SM West: Emma Beason, Jheda Kennedy.
Co-Players of the year: E'lease Stafford, Lawrence, and Sydney Wilson, Olathe East.
Coach of the year: Jeff Dickson, Lawrence.
It took the Lawrence High Lady Lions nine years to get back to the 6A State Tournament and now it is going to take a little bit longer for the Lady Lions to earn their first victory in the State tournament since 2008 after losing a tough 51-44 decision to the Olathe South Falcons.
Olathe South making their thirteen straight appearance in the 6A State Tournament already had a 4 year streak intact when the Lady Lions last made a state tournament appearance and have continued to travel there every year since.
The Lady Lions fought and battled through out the game and led by 2 at half time before Olathe South went up by 2 heading into the 4th quarter.
In the 4th, Olathe South attacked the inside and came away with a 5-0 run that put them up by 7 and try as they might the Lady Lions couldn't overcome the deficit losing 51-44. The loss put the Lady Lions season record to 18-5.
The Amazing Chris Duderstadt from the Shawnee Dispatch and the LJ World was there and captured all the excitement. Please click the links below to read his story. Bobby Nightengale also from the LJ World wrote a nice State Tournament Preview piece which is also linked below:
Making the 6A State Tournament is hard work and that axiom is very evident in the fact that it has been nine years since the Lawrence High Lady Lions have made the trip to the Big Dance. The last time way back in 2008 culminated in the Coach Kristin Mallory led Lady Lions capturing the State Championship and this current edition is determined to repeat that remarkable feat.
To do so LHS would need to overcome nerves and a scrappy physical team from Shawnee Mission South High School.
SMS who LHS defeated 58-43 a month ago had defeated Shawnee Mission West in a nail biter 58-56 to advance to their first substate championship in several seasons.
The game was hotly contested from start to finish with both teams battling to a 14-14 first quarter tie.
The second quarter saw the Lady Raiders pulling ahead by 8 points before a flurry from LHS capped by a three pointer from Senior Olivia Lemus helped pull the Lady Lions within 3 at intermission.
Much like the first game, the Lady Lions came out of half time on a mission and outscored SMS by 10 in the 3rd quarter highlighted by a pair of threes from Juniors Tyrin Cosey and Asia Goodwin.
The 4th quarter was controlled from start to finish with Sophomore Chisom Ajekwu dominating the game on both ends of the floor.
Tremendous ball control and defense helped carry the day with Sophomore Hannah Stewart, Senior Skylar Drum and Junior E'lease Stafford helping Chisom keep SMS at bay.
The win propels LHS into the 6A State Tournament where they will have a rematch from the perennial State Power Olathe South Lady Falcons who defeated LHS earlier in the season 54-38.
Shane Jackson and Carter Gaskins from the LJ World covered the game and please click the link below to see their fantastic work.
After suffering through a six year drought of post season wins, Lawrence High has proved remarkably consistent in advancing to the 6A substate championship game each of the last three seasons.
This season match-up was vs the Lady Bulldogs of Wyandotte High School, a squad LHS defeated 63-20 earlier this season.
This tussle was very similar with the Lady Lions jumping out to a 35-2 halftime lead before clearing their bench and playing no starters during the second half and winning 69-15.
The win advances LHS to the substate championship game vs SM South High School for the opportunity to qualify for the 6A State Tournament in Wichita next week.
The talented Evan Riggs and Mike Yoder for the Lawrence Journal World covered the game and please click the link below to read their words and see their amazing pictures!
The Lawrence High Free State rivalry is always action packed and exciting and this years basketball games had all of that and more at every level.
The Freshman and Sophomore teams from LHS both swept their series with the Firebirds completing the deal with a 35-10 Freshman victory to improve their record to 10-7 on the season and the Sophs won 58-43 to even their season record to 7-7.
The JV Lady Lions won a hard fought competitive game 33-24 to finish the season with a great 12-6 record topping last years 11-7 record which was the best in many many years for the JV at LHS.
In varsity action it was a back and forth affair that saw LHS jump out to an early 15-4 lead only to have those pesky Firebirds battle their way back through gutsy tough play to close the gap to 18-16 after one quarter of play.
In the second quarter again it was very close with LHS edging ahead slightly to lead 27-20 at the half and the Lady Lions did the same in the third and the fourth quarter just enough to escape with a well earned 54-43 victory.
The win improved the LHS record to 8-3 in the Sunflower League and 16-4 overall already the best marks for the Lady Lions since 2008.
Shane Jackson for the LJ World covered the game and Mike Yoder got some amazing pictures. Please click the link below to see their awesome work:
The Lawrence High Lady Lions continued their road warrior ways traveling to the always tough Shawnee Mission East Lancers on Tuesday night.
After trading possessions early in the first quarter LHS started to heat up from the outside with senior Olivia Lemus and Junior E'lease Stafford each knocking down some 3 pointers.
The torrid shooting from LHS helped stake them to an early 18-3 lead and they never looked back.
Olivia ended up scoring 25 points for LHS on 9-12 shooting and E'lease chipped in 15 points, sophomore Sammy Williams cleaned up on the boards with 12 rebounds and added 8 points and LHS won 63-20 to improve to 15-4 on the season and 7-3 in the Sunflower League.
The stellar Bobby Nightengale for the LJ World was there to do his usual amazing work and you can read his coverage of the game by clicking the link below:
Heading into Friday's match up with the talented and well coached team from Olathe North, the Lady Lions knew they would have their hands full with some of the best players in the Sunflower League.
Senior Lexy Watts has continued her climb as one of the best players in the league as has Sophomore Leyanna McGinnis who is leading the league in scoring at 18 points a game and with almost 15 rebounds a game. Topping it off it was senior night for Olathe North so the atmosphere was charged and electric.
And it become clear from the outset that Lawrence High was up to the challenge.
Sophomore Chisom Ajewku set the tone early on for the Lady Lions blocking several shots and defending the paint as LHS jumped out to a 16-10 first quarter lead.
The second quarter was all Lawrence High as Junior E'lease Stafford scored 8 points in the quarter and LHS scored 23 points and stretched out their lead to 37-18 at the half.
Olathe North was not about to go away and they battled back with intensity and toughness and outscored LHS 17-8 in the third quarter setting up an epic back and forth battle in the 4th quarter.
The Lady Lions stayed tough and made enough plays down the stretch to hold on and escape Olathe North with a well earned victory 63-53.
The LHS JV won their game 43-14 and the Freshmen Lady Lions won 48-17 vs Olathe North and the Sophomores dropped a tough 46-34 loss.
The incomparable Evan Riggs from the LJ World was in Olathe to witness all the fun. Please click the link below to read this article.
LHS was back on the road Tuesday to face the gritty and tough squad from Shawnee Mission North High School.
SMN has one of the best freshman players in the Sunflower League LeLe Love and she did not disappoint going for 21 points vs LHS inspite of double teams and defenses geared to try to stop her.
Fortunately for the Lady Lions, they have some pretty special players as well, like Junior E'lease Stafford who lit up SMN for 19 points and played stellar defense through out the game. Sophomore Sammy Williams stepped up with 8 points and 12 rebounds and Senior Olivia Lemus and Junior Asia Goodwin contributed 9 points a piece to the Lady Lions balanced scoring attack.
The win improves LHS to 13-4 on the season and sets up a huge game with the talented Olathe North Eagles on Friday.
In JV action, the Lady Lions defeated SMN 44-28 to win their 10 game for the second season in a row. Completing the 4 game and season sweep were the Lawrence High Freshman and Sophomore teams led by Angie May and David Platt.
Coach May's freshmen team won 45-18 to pick up their 8th win of the season and Coach Platt's sophs won 42-35 and got their 6th win on the year. Great job Ladies!!
The always incredible Chris Duderstadt from the Shawnee Dispatch and the Lawrence Journal World was there for all the exciting action. Please click below to read his words and see his awesome pictures!
Lawrence High's schedule has seen the Lady Lions face off against the very best teams in the state of Kansas and this week was no exception facing off vs SMNW and ONW both who have been ranked in the top ten in the state this season.
First up was SMNW who finished 2nd in 6A last season and entered the game ranked #10 in 6A with a 10-4 record.
LHS got off to a great start leading 15-10 after the 1st quarter of play. Things tightened up in the 2nd quarter with LHS maintaining a 21-18 lead at the half.
After a 13-13 3rd quarter score, LHS held the lead until the final 3 minutes of the game before SMNW was able to get the free throw line and get a 3 point lead. Olivia Lemus's shot at the buzzer was no good and SMNW escaped with 45-42 victory.
In the JV game, LHS crushed the visiting Cougars 44-24. And in the freshman game the night before LHS won 26-16.
Next up was the talented squad from Olathe Northwest. The Ravens entered the game as one of the hottest shooting teams in the state and with 10 wins on the season.
LHS jumped out to a quick 16-7 first quarter lead and continued to build on it in the second quarter leading 30-20 at the half.
The third quarter was close and a back and forth battle before LHS pulled away in the 4th quarter winning 59-46 to improve their record to 12-4 tying their season total of wins from the year before which was already the first winning season for LHS dating back to the Kristin Mallory led Lady Lions in 2008.
The JV squad won an amazing and exciting game when Sophomore Evann Seratte hit a huge 3 pointer at the buzzer to give LHS a dramatic 44-41 victory. The win improves LHS to 9-5 on the season continuing the incredible improvement of the LHS JV over the last several years.
Bobby Nightengale and Shane Jackson from the LJ World covered the games and please click the links below to read their amazing articles:
The Lawrence High Lady Lions finished off a successful week breaking open a close game vs Shawnee Mission South to win going away 58-43.
LHS outscored SMS 18-8 in the third quarter breaking open a close game as the Lady Lions only led 24-21 at the half.
LHS had three starters in double figures led by junior E'lease Stafford's 16, Senior Olivia Lemus had 11 and Senior Skylar Drum added 10.
The win improved the Lady Lions record to 11-3.
The JV game, LHS hung on a won a close game defeating SMS 38-30
The LHS Sophomore Team won 40-36.
Bobby Nightengale for the Lawrence Journal World was there to cover the game. Click below for the article.
In the last three years during the Lady Lions program turn around there were a number of long losing streaks that LHS was determined to break and get back on the winning side of things and the Lady Lions have done just that snapping losing streak after losing streak but there was still one big one that remained..Olathe East.
LHS had not beaten Olathe East since 2010 a streak spanning 7 games including a substate loss for the Lady Lions seniors when they were freshmen.
Olathe East is and has been one of the best teams in the state for years and years finishing 3rd in 6A last season and returned their entire core group of players from that squad. Heading into Wednesday's action, Olathe East was ranked #6 in 6A and were undefeated in the Sunflower League.
The Lady Lions are no slouches either posting their first winning record in years last season and heading into the game with a 9-3 record and ranked #8 in class 6A.
E'lease Stafford got LHS on the board first knocking down one of her four three pointers on the night and the Lady Lions opened up a 13-9 first quarter lead.
In the 2nd quarter, LHS stayed slightly ahead outscoring Olathe East 11-7 to take a 24-16 halftime lead.
Lawrence High expanded that lead to 39 to 25 heading into the 4th quarter and added to that lead to be up by as many as 20 before the Lady Hawks battled back with a furious comeback cutting the lead to 6 with less than three minutes remaining. But the Lady Lions pulled together and hit their free throws and continued to play tremendous defense and held on for the 58-46 victory!
Shane Jackson of the Lawrence Journal World was there for the excitement. Please click the link below to read his story:
2007 was the last time before Saturday Night that the Lady Lions Basketball program had advanced to a tournament championship game. This time LHS knocking off Topeka High and Emporia to earn a championship date with the ranked and talented Derby Panther squad led by 6'6 sophomore Kennedy Brown.
The Lady Lions battled hard and hung in with a squad that the day before beat the #2 team in 5A Maize by over 30 points.
Derby jumped out to a 14-7 lead after one and expanded it to 10 by the end of the first half.
From there it was all Derby as they outscored the Lady Lions 30-17 in the second half and won the Glacier's Edge Championship 56-33.
LHS gained tremendous experience in the three day tournament and competed hard and together through out.
To read the Lawrence Journal World's coverage of the championship game please click below:
The Lawrence High Lady Lions knew going into their tournament week they would have a very tough and uphill battle in one of the hardest mid season tournaments in the state.
The Tournament pool had teams ranked in the top ten in the state with Emporia, Maize, Wichita Heights and Derby all occupying spots in the state ranking and the always dangerous Topeka High and Shawnee Mission North filling out the bracket.
LHS earned the second seed overall and that got them a rematch from the season opener vs Topeka High, that the Lady Lions won 56-44.
The rematch was a back and forth affair that saw LHS climb to a 10 points half time lead before THS battled back and got the game tied multiple times late before Olivia Lemus hit some clutch free throws to ice the game and allow LHS to escape the first round upset 45-43.
That set up an encounter with the 8-2 Emporia Lady Spartans on their home court. LHS jumped out to a 13-5 lead before Emporia's defense held LHS to just 4 2nd quarter points and LHS hung on to a 17-15 halftime lead.
The 3rd quarter was a see saw affair that ended with both teams tied at 30 a piece heading into the final quarter.
The Lady Lions quickly hit a 6-0 run and held on with some clutch free throws down the stretch to win 50-43. The win puts LHS in a tournament championship game for the first time since 2007 where they will face a ranked 6A opponent in Derby.
For coverage of the first two tournament games from the Lawrence Journal World and the Emporia Gazette, please click the links below: