Being a Lancer sports fan this year has been rewarding — but SM East teams have certainly had a tendency to keep their fans on edge until the final buzzer sounds.
Shawn Hair post game interview
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Such was the case yet again Friday as the boys basketball team gutted out a one-point win over rival Rockhurst before a packed SM East gymnasium. The Lancers had possession with 30 seconds remaining and the game tied at 38, at which point SM East head coach Shawn Hair drew up a play for junior Gunnar Englund to drive on the basket. Rockhurst fouled Englund with 4.2 seconds left, sending him to the charity stripe with the game on the line. Englund hit the first free throw to put the Lancers ahead 39-38, but missed the second, which was rebounded by Rockhurst and quickly passed far down the court — only to be intercepted by SM East’s Colin Burns, securing the victory for the Lancers.
“We wanted to get the last shot,” said SM East head coach Shawn Hair after the game. “We wanted to see if Gunnar could get to the basket, and he got to the basket. It worked out well for us.”
It was a low scoring affair, with both teams’ defenses preventing the other team from gaining much traction under the basket, forcing both offenses to rely on low-percentage jump shots. The Hawklets contained 6’7″ sophomore Lucas Jones for most of the evening, holding him to seven points. But strong performances from Englund and senior Colin Burns, who each finished the night with 10 points, gave the Lancers enough power to prevail.
“That’s really what high school sports is all about,” Hair said. “Huge crowd. Huge rivalry. Big plays made on both ends. Kids stepping up. That’s a special game to be on the winning side of.”
Junior Cartier Dean led Rockhurst with 10 points. Juniors Will Bazzle and Noah Spencer each finished the night with six.
The victory takes the Lancers to 10-3 on the season. Their next game will be at home against 10-3 Olathe North next Friday, Feb. 7.