In state semi-final tonight, SM North looking to avenge home loss to Lawrence

Steve_Stitzer

With just two minutes to go in SM North’s game against Lawrence in February, the Indians led by four points on their home court. They looked poised to hand the Chesty Lions just their second loss of the year.

But the Indians couldn’t stop Lawrence’s Justin Roberts, who scored 14 fourth-quarter points to propel his team to a 70-66 win.

Tonight, SM North gets a chance for payback, and on the biggest stage of the year. The Indians and Lions meet at 8:15 p.m. on the hardwood at the Charles Koch Arena in Wichita in the state 6A semifinal. And SM North coach Steven Stitzer doesn’t have any doubt that his team is equipped to beat Lawrence.

“Any team can be beat,” he said. “It’s just a question of whether we come out and play our game effectively.”

Stitzer said containing Roberts and fellow guard Anthony Bonner will be key to SM North’s success — and he knows the Lions will be planning on how to contain the Indians’ biggest weapons, brothers Michael and Marcus Weathers. In the end, Stitzer said, it will come down to whether SM North can take care of the ball.

“I’m certain we can win, but we have to be mistake free,” he said. “I’m hoping we still haven’t seen our best basketball of the year.”

Stitzer added that he had been thrilled with the student fan turnout in the state-opening game Wednesday, and was excited to hear that several buses would be bringing fans to Wichita tonight.

“Our administration has been so supportive in getting fans down there,” he said. “They’ve been behind the team all year. I can’t give them and the fans enough credit for being there for us. It’s so big for this team.”

The game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel, channel 324 for Time Warner Cable subscribers.