Pete Logan
Contributing writer
A talented backcourt rotation from the visiting Lawrence High School boys basketball proved to be too much for Gardner-Edgerton High School Jan. 4 as the Trailblazers fell to the Lions, 76-57, at GEHS Fieldhouse.
The Lawrence guards, led by senior Clarence King, combined for 55 of their team’s points in leading the Lions to victory. King led all scorers in the game with 22 points.
After the game, Steve Wallace Gardner-Edgerton head coach, spoke about the challenges the Lions gave his team.
“Their guards are dangerous,” Wallace said. “They can shoot the three, and they can put it down and make things happen. So, they have really good basketball players. I know they scored a lot of points, but I don’t think our defense was bad. Our offense created a lot of their offense, because we turned it over a lot and missed a lot of layups.”
The teams began the game by trading baskets. However, after Brody Marshall GEHS senior forward put the Blazers up 4-3 with a basket off an assist from Tyler Rollwagen senior guard, the Lions went on an 11-2 run — led by Trey Quartelbaum’s, LHS senior guard, two three-pointers — to go up 14-6 with two-and-a-half minutes left in the first quarter.
The Trailblazers found themselves down 20-13 early in the second period but answered with an 8-2 run, led by junior guard Teven McKelvey’s 5 points. The run was punctuated by a Rollwagen trey off a Marshall assist, making the score 22-21 Lions halfway through the second quarter. However, Lawrence answered with an 11-0 run of their own and went into the halftime break with a 35-23 lead.
The Lions’ lead grew to 16 at 41-25 early in the third quarter, before the Blazers mounted another rally to pull the deficit within single digits. After a conventional 3-point play was converted by GEHS junior post Talor Warner off a dish from McKelvey, Blazers’ senior post Luke Jennings sank a shot inside the lane to pull the Trailblazers within 8 at 41-33. However, LHS took back control from there, and a King basket at the end of the period notched the lead back up to 13 at 52-39.
The visitors controlled most of the final quarter, but a 9-2 run by GEHS shrunk the Lions’ lead from 18 to 11 at 63-52. Blazer sophomore guard Ethan Reynolds put the exclamation point on the run when he nailed a three off a Marshall assist to make the score 63-52. However, 11 points was as close as the deficit would shrink the rest of the way, with the Lions controlling the game’s final minutes.
“Lawrence did a good job of speeding us up,” Wallace said. “So we’ve just got to do a better job of getting open against athletic teams, handling the ball against athletic teams, making good decisions with the ball against long, athletic teams.”
McKelvey recorded a double-double to lead the Blazers, as he racked up 11 points and 10 rebounds to go with his three assists.
In all, the Trailblazers had four players who reached double figures in points. In addition to McKelvey, Brody Marshall racked up 11 points to go with his 6 rebounds, Reynolds notched 10 points and two assists, and Warner collected 10 points. Jennings ended up with eight points and five boards, and Rollwagen collected five points.
With the the loss, the GEHS season record now stands at 2-5.