TOPEKA — Shawnee Mission South trailed just once Saturday at the Topeka Expocentre 4-3 on its way to beating Lansing 46-40 in the Class 5A boys state championship game.
By CHARLES REDFIELD
Special to The Star
It was the second state title for the Raiders and capped an unblemished 25-0 record. The Raiders 1990 team won the Class 6A title with the same record.
The Raiders led 35-27 after three quarters, but the Lions had one last charge left in them.
They cut the lead to 37-36 with 3:05 left.
Shortly after that, 6-8 senior Josh Pedersen of SM South drilled a three-pointer from the top of the circle to make it 40-36.
They backed off me and I rose up and shot it, Pedersen said. You have to block out the situation. I have made that shot a ton of times in practice.
Lansing, 22-2, inched back to cut the lead to three at 40-37, but couldnt get any closer as the Raiders junior Devin Newsome was four-of-four at the free throw line in the last minute.
For fourth-year Raider coach Brett McFall, it was a great way to cap the season.
What a way to get it done, he said. We knew they would make a run. We said before the game if we could hold them under 50 we would win.
For McFall, it was his second state title. He won the Class 6A state title playing for his dad, John, at Olathe South in 1997, beating Leavenworth in the state championship game.
The Raiders had their chances to put the game away in the first half.
We got up 22-9 and that is when we usually step it up and put a team away, but not tonight, McFall said. They were just too good to put away.
McFall pointed to the key three-pointer by Pedersen.
His three was huge, he said. What a great way to finish his senior year.
The Raiders dominated the first half, leading 28-18 at the break
Sophomore Dainan Swoope had 13 first half points, including a perfect four-of-four from behind the three-point line.
The Raiders seemed to confuse the Lions with their half-court zone defense, but they came back to make a game of it in the second half.
Swoope led the Raiders with 16 points and Newsome added 12.
The Raiders were 14-of-37 from the field for the game and a perfect 12-of-12 at the free throw line.
Senior Roy Clayter paced the Lions with 14 points.
The Lions were hurt by just hitting eight-of-13 from the free throw line and four-of-13 behind the three-point line.
Mill Valley boys third
Mill Valley withstood a furious fourth-quarter rally by Wichita Kapaun-Mount Carmel on Saturday to finish third in Class 5A with a 75-70 win.
The Jaguars led 54-42 entering the fourth period, but with 25 seconds left, Kapaun cut the margin to three at 70-67 on a free throw by Toby Baxter .
However, the Crusaders could get no closer. Baxter missed the second free throw, and Jaguars senior Nathan Stacy grabbed the rebound. He was fouled and made both free throws to put the game out of reach.
We had a lot to play for, Mill Valley coach Justin Bogart said. We had five great seniors and a chance for our best finish. And finish with a victory. Very few teams get to do this.
Mill Valleys season record, 21-,4 was just shy of the 22-3 mark posted by the 2006 squad. That team lost to McPherson 60-55 in the third-place game.
Stacy had a team-high 24 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Junior Wyatt Voorhes added 14, and senior Brett Hamilton had 11 points.
Senior Kyle Kain had six assists.
The Crusaders Baxter was the leading scorer in the game with 28 points, and he handed out six assists.