SM East 47, SM North 32
After the final buzzer sounded, the Shawnee Mission East girls shook hands with SM North and raced back to the locker room where they screamed and cheered and banged on the lockers.
The cause for celebration was warranted, as it had been nearly 11 months since the Lady Lancers were on the right side of the scoreboard. On Friday night, SM East won 47-32.
“We’re really excited,” Lancer coach Lauren Lawrence said. “The girls deserved it. They’ve been working really hard. I kept telling them our nonconference schedule was extremely tough. I kept telling them, ‘We are battle tested and this is only going to help us once we get into league play.’”
Midway through the third quarter, Shawnee Mission North led 26-23 after Tiana Lee completed a three-point play. Then Lancer senior Kyle Haverty took over.
Haverty scored 13 straight points for the Lady Lancers in the third quarter — bookended by Jordan Yowell field goals — including three straight possessions to give SM East the lead for good as she made it 31-26.
“She definitely told me to take over, don’t let up; don’t foul, stay in the game and take it to them hard.” Haverty said.
The Lady Lancers would lead by 10 at the end of the third, and Haverty and Yowell would help stretch the lead to 15 as SM East went on a 16-0 run over a 6 minute, 52 second stretch.
The run was not only sparked by Haverty, but by defense. SM East forced SM North to commit 29 turnovers in the game, 11 of which came in the third quarter and on eight straight possessions.
“My favorite thing from Kyle tonight was her ability to turn defense into offense,” Lawrence said. “She really upped the energy level for our entire team and they really fed off of her.”
SM East scored 30 points off of turnovers, which was not pleasing to SM North coach Brian McIntosh. He didn’t think his team played their best basketball and thinks the best basketball is ahead of them.
“We weren’t strong with the ball and that doesn’t surprise me,” McIntosh said. “We’ve got a lot of kids that have to be tougher with the ball; can’t be robots out there. They have to be able to go make plays and a lot of it comes with just playing. We have young kids that haven’t played a lot. (SM East) has some older kids who were a little physical with them and we didn’t handle them very well.”
Freshman Eylia Love scored eight points, but found herself in foul trouble. McIntosh was forced to sub her in on offense and out for defense to make sure she didn’t foul out, which she eventually did in the fourth quarter.
McIntosh said Love is such a big part of what the Lady Indians do, but she’s been in foul trouble several times this season. He was quick to her defense though saying she’s young and it’s a part of the maturation process.
“She’s a freshman,” McIntosh said. “A lot of people forget that. She’s a freshman and she’s going to make freshman mistakes. She’s going to get frustrated. That’s the process of growing up and maturing. If she was making those mistakes as a late sophomore year, junior/senior, I’d be worried.
“Her upside far outweighs everything.”
To make matters worse, junior Hannah Redick, who scored 12 points, was bopped in the nose 10 seconds into the fourth quarter and missed the remainder of the game. She reappeared on the bench with an ice bag in tow, but McIntosh doesn’t know the prognosis yet.
“When she went out and LeLe is off the floor, we’re playing with a lot of young kids and a lot of inexperienced kids,” McIntosh said. “We’re going to have games probably like that. I was most frustrated with what our toughness was. I thought we got killed on the boards and that’s something we preach is boxing out and rebounding.”