When it comes down to a close finish against cross-city rival Shawnee Mission West, Shawnee Mission East head coach Shawn Hair has learned to look to the Wentz brothers for a big play.
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
One year ago, Vance hit a runner in the lane at the buzzer to defeat the Vikings and this year it was younger brother Joey with the end-game theatrics.
After watching a seven-point lead dissipate in the fourth quarter Wentz drained a three-pointer with 3.1 seconds on the clock to lift the Lancers to a 34-31 victory on Friday night at Shawnee Mission West. The Lancers, who returned just one starter from last year’s team, improved to 7-2.
“I was going to hand it off to Gunnar (Englund) and he was going to drive into the lane, but my guy jumped out so I popped out to the three-point line, had an open look and hit it,” Wentz said.
Wentz then turned around and deflected the inbounds pass on Shawnee Mission West’s final possession, prompting a court-storming celebration by the Shawnee Mission East faithful.
“Joey’s length is very impressive and hard to deal with especially because we’ve got Lucas Jones in there, we’ve got two guys that are very long,” Hair said. “Our kids met every challenge tonight.”
Other than a 2-2 tie early, the Lancers led the entire way until Shawnee Mission West senior forward Justin Fetzer tied the score again with just less than 30 seconds to left in the game.
Englund, a junior guard for the Lancers, led all scorers with 15 points. He was followed by Wentz and Jones who finished with eight and seven points respectively. Freshman guard Zach Witters paced the Vikings with eight points.
Shawnee Mission West 46, Shawnee Mission East 32
It’s been a tough year so far for the Shawnee Mission West girls basketball team, but a big rivalry victory might be exactly what it needed to turn things around.
Behind 18 points from Wyoming signee Marleah Campbell, Shawnee Mission West defeated Shawnee Mission East on Friday night. The Vikings improved to 3-5.
“Any win right now is big for us, but it is always a big game against East and it is always a tough, competitive game against East, so we enjoy any chance we have to play them,” Shawnee Mission West head coach Scott Aldrich said.
The Vikings took a 34-27 lead into the fourth quarter and outscored the Lancers 12-5. They made eight of nine free throws in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
Shawnee Mission East senior forward Molly Ross was the only other player to break double figures finishing with 14 points which included back-to-back three pointers in the third quarter.