The dream is still alive for the Lansing Lions.
The Lions boys managed to stay undefeated Friday, but it took an overtime and a couple of pressure-packed free-throws to turn back Wichita Heights 72-71 in the Class 5A semifinals.
With 47.4 seconds left in the extra period, Heights took a one-point lead on a free-throw by junior Semaj Hervey.
Lansing then took a timeout with 15 seconds left to set up a play — an effort that was well-defended by Heights.
“They took away what we wanted to do,” Lions coach Rob Briggs said. “But we had a kid make a play.”
Lansing senior Zach Jackson was fouled at the 9.1-second mark and calmly drilled both free throws.
“He is a great free throw shooter,” Briggs said.
Wichita Heights had a final chance, but Hervey missed on the game’s last shot.
Lansing held a modest 51-47 lead at the end of the third quarter and had a 63-58 advantage with a minute to play, but with 45.4 seconds left Heights sophomore Davon Gill hit a shot and was fouled. He made the free throw.
The Falcons then forced a turnover and junior Tre King hit a layup with 16 seconds left to force overtime.
Joe Lendway, a 6-5 senior, led the Lions with 21 points. He was nine-of-13 from the field.
“He has stepped up big for us, hitting layups,” Briggs said. “He’s made us a better team.”
Senior Joe Schneider had 19 points and four assists and Jackson added 12.
Hervey paced the Falcons with 22 points, and Davon Gill added 17.Leavenworth girls 48, Wichita Kapaun 26
Leavenworth won back-to-back Class 6A state titles in 1988 and 1989 and Saturday the Pioneers will be back in the state championship game, this time in Class 5A, after easily winning their Friday semifinal.
“I’m a 1988 Leavenworth grad and I remember those teams,” Pioneers coach Derek Zeck said. “This is the 25th anniversary of that feat.
“This is great for our community and our school.”
Leavenworth had a 13-8 lead after the first quarter and then held the Crusaders scoreless in the second quarter to lead 21-8 at halftime.
Leavenworth used its height advantage to dominate the boards 30-21. The Pioneers have four players six-foot or taller that play significant minutes while 6-1 Kuhn was the biggest Crusader.
“For us to have a chance we had to control the boards,” Kapaun Mount Carmel coach Marvin Estes said. “We couldn’t do that (Friday).
“You have to give them credit. They are the best team we have played. We got impatient and put up some quick shots.”
The Crusaders were just six-of-40 from the field.
Tyler Johnson, a 6-2 senior, led Leavenworth with 19 points and six rebounds. Senior Emma Zeck added 11.
Kuhn paced the Crusaders with 10 points.