Lansing wins in first-round nail-biter
After three straight appearances in the loser's bracket of the Tonganoxie Invitational Tournament, the Lansing High boys basketball team has its eyes on the championship this season.
The Lions entered their 4:30 p.m. Monday first-round game against Jefferson West riding a three-game winning streak. Included in that streak are lopsided victories against Mill Valley and Santa Fe Trail and a 48-40 overtime win at Turner on Friday.
Lansing defeated Jeff West, 48-46, on Monday in the first round of the Tonganoxie Invitational.
Second-year LHS coach Rod Briggs said the 6-3 Lions have high hopes for making a run to the tournament finals, but he said that wouldn't be possible without a good start against Jeff West.
"(We have to) play better than we did tonight (Friday against Turner) and kind of play like we did last Friday against Mill Valley," Briggs said, referencing the Lions' 60-40 win against the Jaguars. "That's basically what we've got to do. We've got to go one game at a time."
Jeff West came into the tournament with a 2-5 record. Its latest setback was a 51-35 loss to Sabetha on Friday.
Briggs said before Monday's game that the Lions' big men would have their hands full with 6-foot-7 Tom Shirley, the younger brother of former Iowa State standout and NBA player Paul Shirley.
Lansing held Tom Shirley to 15 points and seven boards on Monday night.
"We played them last year, and they've got one of the better players in the state in Tom Shirley," Briggs said. "Last year we did a good job on him and held him to five points, but we don't count on doing that again because he's too good of a player."
Junior Cody Rush leads Lansing in scoring and rebounding with 10.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Junior point guard Curtis Beall averages 8.3 points per contest, and junior shooting guard Clayton Hall has an 8.1 average.
Other top scorers for LHS are senior Bobby Hauver (6.7 points), senior Stephen Didde (6 points) and senior Kevin Johnson (5.1 points).
Lansing's second-round opponent will be either Rossville or Eudora.
That game took place at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, but the game continued past The Mirror's press time.
Since LHS defeated Jeff West, Lansing will play at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
With the loss, Jeff West will play in the consolation semifinals at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
JWHS will draw the loser of the Rossville-Eudora game.