Coming off an energizing upset of top-ranked Olathe East on Tuesday, Shawnee Mission South head coach Brett McFall expected more from his team.
While the Raiders still pulled out a 76-64 victory against Leavenworth on Friday, it was far from inspiring.
“We didn’t play very well and we let them hang around,” McFall said. “It’s a shame that we came out and put on a performance like that on a Friday after a great week of practice, but hey, we got the job done and I guess that’s good when you can still win even though you didn’t play well.”
The Raiders built a 14-6 lead in the first quarter, but allowed nine straight points by the Pioneers before senior guard Dainan Swoope hit a pair of free throws.
They were able to push the lead to double-digits before halftime with an 11-0 run that included points from five different players, but McFall pointed to defensive breakdowns and poor shot selection that allowed the Pioneers to stay in the game.
“If we play like that later on, we are going to have a short, short season,” McFall said.
One positive in the second half was the improved defense against explosive Leavenworth senior guard Cameron Wiggins.
After allowing 15 first-half points by Wiggins, the Raiders held him to just three in the second half. He finished six of 15 from the field and one of six on three-pointers. Grant Lang and Jeromie Simmons picked up the slack in the second half and finished with 16 points each.
“He is a great player and we wanted to focus on him,” McFall said of Wiggins. “We told them tonight that if we were going to get beat, we wanted somebody else to beat us, and we pretty much took him out of the game.
“He is a great player and I thought we did a pretty good job on him.”
Swoope led the Raiders with 26 points, which included five three-pointers. Devin Newsome and DeAngelo Bruster followed with 17 and 16 points, respectively.Leavenworth girls 74, Shawnee Mission South 72
Though the Leavenworth girls led the entire second half, the game was never comfortable.
Shawnee Mission South cut the deficit to one point with 1 minute left on the clock, but Leavenworth held on for the victory. The Pioneers improved to 14-1, while the Raiders dropped to 8-8.
Senior Allison Hines led the Raiders with 27 points, including three three-pointers. Overall, the Raiders were nine for 18 from beyond the three-point arc.
Rachel Blackburn paced the Pioneers with 27 points and 16 rebounds. Tyler Johnson added 25 points.