If the finale of the undercard was any indicator, perhaps SM East’s varsity boys basketball team on Friday could have sensed that the pendulum was swinging sharply in the favor of their chief rival Rockhurst.
The Lancers walked away from the teams’ past two meetings with dramatic one-point wins that gave the spirited SM East student section bragging rights over their spirited counterparts from Rockhurst. But Friday, the only last-second thrill came in the junior varsity game, when Rockhurst sophomore Scotty Thompson drained a mid-court buzzer beater to give the Hawklets a 64-62 win.
The varsity game, on the other hand, saw no back-and-forth dramatics — just a steady 70-44 beat down of the Lancers by a fired up Hawklets team.
Rockhurst jumped to an early 9-2 lead in the first quarter, prompting SM East coach Shawn Hair to call a time out. His Lancers appeared to settle in a bit after the break, and brought the score to 14-8 at the end of the first quarter after a steal let senior Gunnar Englund put in a layup before time expired.
But that was the closest the Lancers would get. The Hawklets extended their lead to 34-14 at the half, and things just went downhill from there for the Lancers in the second half. The Lancers couldn’t find a way to contain Rockhurst senior Patrick Geha throughout the night, allowing him to score a team leading 19 points. Senior guard Cartier Dean proved pesky throughout the second half, and finished the night with 13 points.
For the Lancers, senior Lucas Jones and sophomore Zeb Vermillion led scorers with 15 points each. The Lancers clearly felt the loss of junior Joey Wentz, who left the team earlier this month.
SM East will have a challenge when they look to rebound against a tough 10-2 Olathe North on the road next Friday.