Between basketball and football, twice Shawnee Mission East has faced Derby in state tournaments in the past 12 months, losing both times.
Between basketball and football, twice Shawnee Mission East has faced Derby in state tournaments in the past 12 months, losing both times. The Panthers did their best to make it 3-for-3 Friday night in the semifinals of the 50th Annual McPherson Invitational, but a fantastic individual effort from Colin Burns catapulted the Lancers into the championship game tonight with a 53-50 win. “Huge win,” East coach Shawn Hair said. “We lost to Derby in the third place[6A tournament] game last year and we played them in the state football championship. The kids on [the Lancers basketball team] played them in football. Not just a huge win for our program, but our community as well.” Colin Burns scored 20 points, with 11 coming in the final quarter, where he accounted for all of Shawnee Mission East’s points in the final frame. Twelve of his points came from three pointers, again, nine of which came in the fourth. Lucas Jones added 16 points and a dominating 19 rebounds underneath the rim for the Lancers, who will face Lawrence Free State in the McPherson Invitational championship tonight at 7:30 p.m. “Colin took some big shots and Lucas was a beast on the boards for us,” Hair said. The game started out similar to Derby’s game Thursday with Blue Valley West, as the Panthers dug themselves into a hole that left them staring at a 14-4 deficit after the first quarter. Derby fought back in the second and closed the gap to seven at the half. James Conley tied the game at 33-33 with a three-pointer at the 5:03 mark of the third quarter and the game was a race between the two teams the rest of the way. Burns went to work in the fourth, however, as he gave the Lancers a 48-44 lead with 4:50 left in the game on consecutive threes. Derby’s Nyjee Wright and Jeremy Dunham combined for a quick four points that tied the game at 48-48 heading into the final three minutes, but Burns, yet again, buried a three that gave the Lancers the separation they needed to hold off the Panthers. Conley gave Derby (7-4) hope but closing the gap to 51-50, but Burns hit a pair of free throws with 30 seconds left and a Garrett Green three-point attempt as time expired was short. The win sent East into the championship game for the second straight year, as they lost to McPherson in 2013. “With Mac going down in the first round and us winning in the first round,” Hair said, “I think all four teams all the sudden said, ‘Hey, we have a chance.’ The only way you have a chance to win is if you make it to the semifinals.” Derby finished the game shooting 41.7 percent from the field, led by Dunham’s 16 points. Shawnee Mission East (8-2) and Lawrence Free State tip off tonight at 7:30 p.m. Gammon powers Blue Valley over Bishop Carroll Blue Valley West’s Blaise Gammon was dominating Friday in the second consolation semifinal, as he scored 26 points and the Jaguars cruised into the finals today against McPherson with a 66-41 win over Bishop Carroll. Blue Valley rolled into the locker room at halftime with a 31-15 lead, with Gammon already having 12 points. The Golden shot only 28 percent from the field in the first half and didn’t even sniff the foul line. The second half saw a Bishop Carrol resurgence, but it wasn’t enough, as the Jaguars held on to win, despite a 10 points second half from the Golden Eagles’ Luke Hohl. Hohl finished with 12 points on the night, while Matt Price had 14 to lead Bishop Carroll. Gammon was joined in double digits for Blue Valley West (4-4) by Connor Kaiser with 12 and Ryan Ralston with 11. Bishop Carroll (5-5) will face Buhler for seventh place at 1:30 p.m. Free State makes finals 67-57 over Wichita North Lawrence Free State punched its ticket to the McPherson Invitational championship game tonight with a 10-point win over Wichita North. The Firebirds rolled in the first half to a 34-20 lead over a Redskin team that didn’t have the same energy they displayed in Thursday night’s upset of McPherson. North did get going though in the second half, making a press on Free State, thanks, in part, to some sloppy play by the Firebirds in the second half. Though they were able to get the lead under 10 a couple of times, the work of both Cole Moreano and Khadre Lane kept Free State (7-4) in the lead. Moreano led all scorers with 19 points, while Lane had 16 points and 13 rebounds. North’s Sean Bernard and Tristyn Villa both had 15 points, while Tarius Williams scored 11. Wichita North (4-6) will face Derby for third place at 5:30 p.m.