Fans make the trip to Wichita for state semifinals game

By Kansas Gibler and Griffin Nelson

WICHITA — Buses, vans and cars unloaded dozens of students to see the boys varsity basketball team in Friday’s state semifinal game in Wichita.

Students had high hopes for the team, which has only lost one game this year. Sophomore DJ Davis came to the game excited to witness the team’s skill and athleticism.

“[I want to see] Anthony dunk on someone,” Davis said. “It’s nice to see good basketball being played at such a high level.”

Seniors Matt Mantooth, Zach Alexander and Andrew Ornburn arrived at the Charles Koch Arena in style — Mantooth and Alexander sporting two Power Ranger costumes, with Ornburn in a banana suit.

“I got the idea from when I was a freshman,” Mantooth said. “There were two seniors, they wore the red Spiderman and the black Spiderman costumes to a lot of the basketball games. So I just kind of took the idea but I didn’t want to copy it completely.”

At the half the Lions led with 24-17 after a quick comeback in the first quarter.

“We always start slow, then we come back,” senior Cole Greenwood said. “I’m not worried.”

The Lions proceeded to win 78-64, advancing to the state final.

Junior Justin Roberts and senior Anthony Bonner led the team in points, with a combined 47 points. They and the team will go on to play Saturday evening at the Charles Koch Arena at 6:15 p.m.

“I have high hopes in them,” junior Griffin Hardy said. “They’ve always shown up every game. I believe that they’re going to do real good tomorrow night.”

The Budget will be live tweeting (@lhsbudget) and covering the state championship game Saturday evening.