In the end, a single point separated the SM East boys basketball team from their chance at the first state title in school history.
Propelled by a third quarter in which seemingly ever shot they sent toward the basket fell in, Blue Valley West knocked off the Lancers 59-58 in the state semi-finals in Wichita Friday, bringing an end to SM East’s record-setting season.
With a record of 21-3, the 2012-2013 Lancers have won more games than any squad in school history. But that fact was little consolation for a coach and group of seniors who seemed to have a legitimate shot at a state title.
“It’s a tough way to go out,” said coach Shawn Hair after the game.
The Lancers led 22-19 at the half, but the Jaguars came out of the locker room on a tear, cutting up the Lancers’ defense and scoring 22 points in the third quarter. The Jaguars led 41-33 when the fourth quarter began, but a three-pointer by Zach Schneider cut that lead to one with under three minutes left to play.
“We put our head down and figured, ‘This is our only chance to go to state,'” Schneider said of the Lancers’ fourth quarter drive. “We picked up full court and forced a couple turnovers that got us back into it.”
But BV West made a few key shots down the stretch and were able to hold on for the win.
The Lancers will take on 18-4 Derby in the third-place game today. Tip is at 2 p.m.
Post game reporting by Mitchell Kaskie. Photos by Caroline Creidenberg.