It’s fun getting close. It’s much sweeter reaching the top. Just ask the Lansing boys basketball team.
The Lions went to the state semifinals each of the last four years and finished as state runners-up in 2013, losing in the title game to SM South.
This season, though, Lansing reached the pinnacle.
Lansing finished 25-0 and won the Kansas Class 5A state championship. The Lions also finished the season atop The Star’s big-class rankings.
For all of that, Rod Briggs is The Star’s All-Metro boys basketball coach of the year.
“That’s something you dream about as a coach,” Briggs said. “Winning a state championship is your goal every year in the back of your mind, even though you may not verbalize it much. To go undefeated, that is unreal. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that we went undefeated and won the state championship.”
Briggs pointed to the Lions’ chemistry and difficult schedule as key factors that made them tough enough to go all the way.
“We grew up a lot over the years, and being on a team that had been successful the last three years — they also had a bad taste in their mouth from last year,” Briggs said. “They were dedicated enough to work real hard in the offseason. There is no guarantee that you will be back there, but they were able to get there and be successful.”