Turnovers cost Cougars in second half of sub-state loss to Lions
Lawrence It was a tale of two halves for the Shawnee Mission Northwest boys basketball team in its 62-52 loss to Lawrence High on Wednesday in the Class 6A boys sub-state semifinals.
The first half went the way that SM Northwest coach Mike Rose had hoped it would go, as the Cougars took care of the ball and got good offensive possession en route to building a 29-20 lead at the break.
The second half, however, was a scene that Rose has become all too familiar, though, as the Cougars committed turnover after turnover to play right into the Lions' hands.
"Obviously it was huge. I don't know how many points they got off of our turnovers in the third quarter, but it was a bunch," Rose said. "We talked about it at halftime — the reason we were doing so well in the first half was that we took care of the basketball for the most part and executed our offense a little bit. So it's frustrating for the boys. They were pressing a little bit too much because you're beating Lawrence at their place at halftime and the chance to go play on Friday. I just think we pressed a little too much, and obviously that was our downfall."
The No. 7-seeded Cougars (7-14) were clicking on all cylinders going into the break, as C.C. Ghilardi knocked down a 3-pointer just before the buzzer sounded to cap a 9-0 run to end the half.
The halftime break proved to be a huge momentum killer for the Cougars, though, as they saw their lead vanish in a flash. The Lions (14-7) out-scored the Cougars 19-4 in the third quarter, and never trailed in the fourth. The Cougars committed 13 of their 19 turnovers in the second half.
Ghilardi led a balanced offensive effort for the Cougars with 11 points. Colton Skeens joined Ghilardi in double figures with 11; Jaylen Love, Noah Kendall and Alex Oleson had eight apiece and Randall Moore Jr. rounded out the scoring with seven.
The loss to the Lions marked the final game in a Cougar uniform for Moore Jr., Skeens, Oleson, Kendall, Cole Biery, Adam Gleason, Jason Eskina and Austin Heinisch.
"It's a great group of kids," Rose said. "Academically, these kids are really good, and they're fun kids to be around. Like I told them after the game tonight, we really scratched our heads these last four or five weeks trying to figure out how to get this thing turned around and we never did. But it wasn't because of a lack of those guys not working hard. They believed in each other and played for each other, but in the end it just didn't work out for us."
Lawrence High will move on to play No. 3 seed Shawnee Mission East on Friday in the sub-state final after the Lancers upended SM North, 66-46, on Wednesday.
Lawrence High (62)
Braden Solko 1-1 0-0 2, Austin Miller 4-9 0-0 14, Brett Chapple 4-9 2-3 10, Anthony Selden 1-4 3-4 5, Trey Quartlebaum 0-2 0-0 0, Clarence King 2-4 0-0 4, Noah Butler 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson Mallory 4-5 0-0 8, Kobe Buffalomeat 9-10 1-1 19, Jacob Van Dave 0-0 0-0 0, Shazor Savonni 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-45 6-8 62.
SM Northwest (52)
Randall Moore Jr. 2-4 2-2 7, Cole Biery 0-1 0-0 0, Colton Skeens 4-9 0-0 10, Adam Gleason 0-1 0-0 0, George Specht 0-0 0-0 0, Jason Eskina 0-0 0-0 0, C.C. Ghilardi 3-9 2-2 11, Alex Oleson 4-8 0-0 8, Noah Kendall 3-5 2-2 8, Austin Heinisch 0-4 0-0 0, Jaylen Love 4-7 0-0 8. Totals: 20-48 6-6 52.
Lawrence High 11 9 19 23 — 62
SM Northwest 9 20 4 19 — 52
Three-point goals: Lawrence High 4-13 (Miller 4); SM Northwest 6-20 (Ghilardi 3, Skeens 2, Moore Jr.). Fouled out: None. Turnovers: Lawrence High 13, SM Northwest 19.