Shawnee Mission East answered every Rockhurst call as Kelyn Bolton and Trevor Thompson were dialed in for the Lancers in their 54-49 victory.
The Hawklets (7-9) tied the game at 39 with 5:33 remaining in the game as Ahmad Louis split a pair of free throws. But on the next SM East (5-5) possession, Bolton gave the Lancers the lead for good as he hit a 10-foot jumper for two of his 13 points.
“Both those kids played super,” SM East coach Shawn Hair said of Bolton and Thompson. “I’m really proud of them. It was a great team effort. Rockhurst is a great team. Our kids played with great energy and emotion.”
— Brian Libeer (@BrianLibeer) January 28, 2017
SM East 54, Rockhurst 49
Thompson led all scorers with 17 points with 13 coming in the first half. He loves how into the game all the fans get because most games don’t provide an atmosphere like Friday night’s game.
It was the final time he’ll face Rockhurst in his basketball career.
“When you get off bus and all the Rockhurst guys are standing outside it’s a little nerve-wracking,” Thompson said. “But once you’re playing you don’t really feel it. You’re just into the game and you don’t hear the crowd at all.”
The Lancers didn’t let the packed gym affect them as they jumped out to a seven-point lead midway through the first quarter. Rockhurst coach Pete Campbell said SM East threw the first three punches, but his team didn’t get knocked down.
Hair said his team was composed from the tip and they hung in the entire game as they came off a double overtime loss to Wichita Heights in the McPherson tournament last week. A game that Hair thought his team should have won.
“I was shocked the score was 39-36 after the third quarter,” Hair said. “I don’t think we played well in the third quarter and I felt they outplayed us, and we were still up by three. I felt like that was a good sign.”
Campbell thought the third quarter was “pretty good” for his team. He said his team turned the ball over too much in the first half, they didn’t guard as well as they did in the third quarter.
“We were 11-of-22 from the free throw line and we lost by a couple of point,” Campbell said. “We had to foul them at the end, but that’s a strategy, but that’s accumulating baskets. I’m disappointed. Our free throw shooting in a tight ball game, that’s the difference and that’s something we preach to our players.”
The Hawklets trailed for the majority of the game, but it seemed like the momentum was shifting their way after they took a 34-32 lead on a four-point possession with 4:26 left in the third. After a Lancer turnover, Chris Teahan scored to tie the game, but after the ball went in the bucket Liam George was called for a foul giving the ball back to Rockhurst.
Teahan, who scored all 14 of his points in the second half, would convert again to give Rockhurst the lead, but it only lasted 22 seconds as Andy Maddox buried a corner three on SM East’s next trip down.
“It was a big shot by Maddox,” Hair said. “Trevor and Kelyn did a great job (guarding Teahan). We ask a lot out of those kids, but we’re really proud of them. The key is keep moving forward because we have 10 more games to go.”