Archive for Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lions improve to 7-3, set goal for invitational championship

January 16, 2008

At this time last year, the Lansing High girls basketball team limped into the Tonganoxie Invitational Tournament with a 2-6 record.

A first-round victory over Jeff West was the springboard for the Lions' run to the tournament finals, where they ultimately lost to Tonganoxie, 50-37, in a contest that was tight for three quarters.

The run to the finals was the brightest point in a 9-12 campaign, but LHS hopes the 2008 tournament is simply another step in a season-long push toward the Class 5A state tournament.

The Lansing High girls basketball team is, front row, from left, Amy Briggs, Katelyn Griffen, Kari Kelly and Abbey Lozenski; middle row, Jessica Burnett, Kiersten Kirkendoll, Kenzi 
Smith, Morgan Chiles, Katie Nietzke, Katherine Borderud, Natalie Hangel; back row, Cassandra Murphy, Chelsea Weeks, Christine Cordes, Alexis Ellis, Brittney Lang, Katie Cristiano, Retha Cioppa and Amanda Darrow.

The Lansing High girls basketball team is, front row, from left, Amy Briggs, Katelyn Griffen, Kari Kelly and Abbey Lozenski; middle row, Jessica Burnett, Kiersten Kirkendoll, Kenzi Smith, Morgan Chiles, Katie Nietzke, Katherine Borderud, Natalie Hangel; back row, Cassandra Murphy, Chelsea Weeks, Christine Cordes, Alexis Ellis, Brittney Lang, Katie Cristiano, Retha Cioppa and Amanda Darrow.

This year's Lions enter the Tonganoxie Invitational riding a three-game winning streak. They're undefeated in the new year, and enter the tournament at 6-3.

Lansing defeated Jeff West on Monday, 47-39, in the first round of the tournament to improve to 7-3.

"I'm anticipating a chance to play Tonganoxie again," Lansing coach Keith Andrews said before the tournament. "It'd be great to be in the finals. It'd be a great atmosphere down there. We've got to worry about getting those first two in the win column. Hopefully we'll get out to a good start against Jeff West."

Jeff West enters the tournament with a 4-3 record. It snapped a two-game losing streak Friday with a 48-38 victory over Sabetha.

Andrews said he expected Jeff West to be physical and aggressive.

"Jeff West is going to be very athletic," he said. "I talked to a couple coaches (Friday), and they said they're very athletic. They'll press full-court, man-to-man. I'm confident our guards can handle that - I'm hoping so. I think we just need to attack the basket and go from there."

Attacking has been an effective offensive strategy for LHS in recent games. After a slow start to the season, the Lions have averaged 58 points per game during their past three contests. That includes a 62-30 victory Friday at Turner.

Junior Brittney Lang is Lansing's top scoring threat with an 11.4-point average. Senior Katie Nietzke averages 8.9 points per game, sophomore Amy Briggs averages 7.5 and junior Alexis Ellis carries a 6.4 average.

Monday's victory put Lansing in the semifinals game, which will take place at 3 p.m. Friday.

LHS will face the winner of Eudora vs. Atchison. That game took place at 3 p.m. Tuesday, but the game ran past The Mirror's press time.

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