Lions take 3rd in 6A basketball state championship with 74-66 win over BVNW

By Gary Schmidt

Senior leadership proved the be the key for the Lions as the team walked away with third place medals, beating Blue Valley Northwest, 74-66.

The Lions began to pull away early on in the third quarter led by hot-shooting point guard Justin Roberts, who added 12  points in the period. However, it was ultimately a team effort for the Lions that carried them to a 53-45 advantage heading into the fourth.

Different players stepped up throughout the half, such as junior guard Braden Solko, who capitalized on one of his few chances and swished yet another three for the the Lions.

When teammates lost their dribble, the Lions were all over the floor keeping possessions alive and giving the Lions plenty of second chance points.

In the fourth quarter, the Huskies pulled out all the stops and clawed their way back to a 55-53 score before the Lions could realize it.

Knowing his team needed a basket, Roberts hit home pull-up jumper that sparked the Lions, who forced a traveling violation on the Huskies on the next possession.

The Lions made plenty of shots deep into the fourth, but the Huskies held with them, keeping the game at three points until a three pointer from senior Anthony Harvey Jr. stifled any momentum the Huskies had been gathering, forcing them to call a full timeout.

For the Huskies, guard Darien Jackson went a long way to keep his team in the game by adding 19 points in the second half. Taking the ball off the dribble, Jackson helped keep the Huskies within five for most of the fourth, but it was not enough for the team as the Lions pulled away late, carried by the heroics of Roberts who added 31 points and 5 assists for the Lions.

Roberts was not alone, however.

Roberts, along with his fellow seniors, carried the way for the Lions into the third place finish.

Harvey hit a clutch three to put the Lions up by five with a minute thirty to go, and on the other end, forward Price Morgan sent a BVNW shot rocketing into the third row.

Finally it was Fred Brou, one of the biggest vocal leaders for the Lions, who vocalized the emphatic finish for the Lions historic season with a thunderous two handed jam to put the Lions ahead comfortably to close out the game.