Players like Leashja Grant of Sunrise Christian Academy are not often seen by CNC League teams.
The 6-foot-2 senior post scored 12 points alone in the first quarter, seemingly commanded three defenders with or without the basketball, made outlet passes over her head off rebounds to streaking teammates a la Wes Unseld and stepped outside on both ends of the floor, sinking a free throw line jumper or helping out her guards on dribble penetration.
Grant finished with 28 points and the Sunrise Christian Buffaloes claimed a 62-39 win Tuesday night in the second day of the Lancer Classic.
Sunrise Christian scored the first 10 points of the contest and Southeast did not score until Amy Martin sank a short jumper with 3:06 left in the first quarter. Sunrise Christian led 19-5 after one and 29-10 at halftime; at no point in the first half did the Lancers have more points than turnovers, finishing the first 16 minutes with 10 points, 12 turnovers (six both quarters).
Southeast changed all that in the third quarter and sustained its best play, especially during a pair of 6-0 runs. Olivia Powell, scoreless in the first half, came out with six points and Martin matched that six, as the Lancers created transition opportunities for some easy baskets.
The Lancers had the lead narrowed to 36-24 on a Tessa Robin layup but the Buffaloes managed to extend it back to 44-26 at the end of three.
Janell Kidd added 20 points for the Buffaloes and Kaycee Weiser had eight.
Martin caught light in the second half for the Lancers, scoring 13 of her 15 points after halftime. Powell and Robin each finished with eight.
Southeast returns to action 7 p.m. Thursday against Oswego. The Lancers and the Indians have played a pair of memorable Lancer Classic games the past two years.
Sunrise Christian defeated Oswego 57-44 in an earlier game Tuesday and the Buffaloes have wrapped up a spot in the Lancer Classic title game on Friday.
In a mild upset Tuesday on the girls Pool A side, Columbus defeated top seed St. Paul 32-26 and the Titans have basically secured a spot in the title game, unless the Marmaton Valley girls pull off a major upset against Columbus on Thursday night. Lauren Anderson led Columbus with 15 points and Jordyn Tuck led St. Paul with 15.
Southeast boys 56, Marmaton Valley 43
CHEROKEE — The Lancers scored the first eight points of the nightcap and built a 30-11 halftime lead on the strength of a 15-0 run to close out the half.
Senior forward Josh Thompson picked up from where he left off Monday night against Columbus with eight of the first 10 Southeast points. Thompson finished with 10 first-half points en route to a team-high 15.
For the Wildcats of Marmaton Valley, it was the Cole Becker Show. Becker scored all but two of the Marmaton Valley 11 first-half points. His three at the first quarter buzzer and his two free throws 17 seconds into the second made it 15-11. That’s when Southeast turned on the jets and the Wildcats turned it over nine times, helping create some easy baskets for the Lancers.
Page 2 of 3 - After the Lancers scored the first points of the second half, Marmaton Valley scored six of the next eight points on three straight inside baskets by senior post Nathan Smith, the tallest player on the court. The Wildcats continued to attack the rim but five straight by Thompson pushed the lead back to 40-21 late in the third. Southeast would take that 40-21 lead into the fourth.
Eight points by junior guard Chance Stevenson narrowed the Southeast lead to 12 and then after Steven Uber made a basket for Southeast, Marmaton Valley made it 46-36 on four straight points by senior Levi Ramsey. The rally continued with baskets from Becker, his 3 making it a 48-41 contest under 2 minutes. However, it all proved too little, too late and Southeast closed out the feisty Wildcats.
Peak and Bryan Horgan joined Thompson in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Travis Trayer added nine, five on fourth quarter foul shots.
Becker led Marmaton Valley with 16 points and Levi Ramsey accumulated 10 before fouling out late in the contest.
Paola boys 72, Pittsburg 61
BURLINGTON — The Purple Dragons kept themselves in the game in the first half via the free throw line after trailing 24-11 after one quarter and 26-11 on the first points of the second.
Stefon Rich and Tanner Ellis scored 12 and 11 first half points, respectively, as each player made eight free throws to make it 40-31 at halftime. Ellis made a 3 and Rich made a couple interior baskets.
Pittsburg finished 18-23 at the foul stripe.
Spencer Bernhardt, Ellis, Kaleb Owens and Nick Vacca all picked up two personal fouls and Pittsburg senior forward FeDor Lomax (a key player inside) played very little in the first half, none after he received a technical foul by disagreeing with a personal foul call against him so much he launched the ball the length of the court. Lomax returned in the second half.
Meanwhile, the Panthers of Paola sank four 3s in the first half.
Rich finished with a game-high 28 points.
Pittsburg girls 41, Labette County 31
BURLINGTON — One week after their first loss of the season at home to Labette County, the Pittsburg girls served up a little revenge on the Grizzlies in the first round of the Burlington Invitational with a 10-point win.
This was the first win under second-year head coach Kim Peterson O’Bray in four tries against the Grizzlies and the first PHS girls win against the Grizzlies in a long time. Now, the Dragons of the past two seasons have wins against every Southeast Kansas League school.
Defense was key for Pittsburg against Labette County, as the Grizzlies put up eight in the first, five in the second, 12 in the third and six in the fourth. Only one Labette County player scored double figures — Michaela O’Brien 14 points — and Erica Gartner and Ebony Rakestraw finished with six apiece.
Page 3 of 3 - On the Pittsburg side, senior Alaura Short finished with a game-high 19 points and fellow senior Lizzy Willis added eight. Younger sister Katy Short’s nine points combined with older sister to give the Shorts 28 against the Grizzlies.
Pittsburg improves to 8-1 on the season.
TONY DUBRAY CLASSIC
Colgan boys 87, Bronaugh (Mo.) 56
LIBERAL, Mo. — Points were not at a premium in this first round game and the Panthers scored 26 in the first, 22 in the third and 24 in the fourth with only 15 in the second quarter en route to a 31-point win.
Colgan senior Dyson Dechant scorched the nets for 35 points — 16 field goals and three free throws.
Luke Marquardt and Austin Commons added 21 and 13 points, respectively, and Tieler Commons had nine. These four high scorers alone combined for 78 points and 33 made field goals.
Patrick Hallam paced Bronaugh with 27 points and Josh Willis added 15.
Colgan girls 66, Bronaugh (Mo.) 25
LIBERAL, Mo. — The Panthers had 10 girls reach the scoring column and 18 assists Tuesday night.
Taylor Bolinger led Colgan with 17 points and made three 3-point shots. Nichole Kolarik and Mariah Klenke added 12 and 10 points, respectively, and Aliee Story had eight points, helped out by a pair of 3-point shots.
Bolinger and Klenke led in assists with four apiece. Katie Kolarik and Klenke each led with six rebounds.
Colgan plays Galena in the semifinals 5:30 p.m. Thursday.