Boys basketball wins Blue Valley Shootout tournament, starts season with a bang

After four games, LHS is gearing up for a promising season


Maeslyn Hamlin

Senior guard Zaxton King controls the ball during the December 2 game against Blue Valley Southwest.

By Jack Tell, Sports Editor

Boys basketball started off strong with a win in the Blue Valley shootout against a talented Olathe South team. 

The Lions last won the tournament in the 2018-19 season, losing in the first round last year. Three wins in the tourney and a close win at home in the season opener left LHS with a 4-0 record. Coach Mike Lewis emphasized the value of a championship win early in the season. 

“I’m very excited for our guys,” Lewis said. “Any time you can go win any type of championship, you have to celebrate it, you have to be excited for it, because those opportunities just don’t come around every year.”

Last year’s scoring leader Zaxton King has returned as a senior this year, and scored 32 points to lead LHS to a 68-57 win over Sunflower League rival Olathe South. The versatile guard predicted a rewarding season to come. 

“I think it will go very well,” King said. “I feel like we play well together as a team, and our chemistry is on point.”

King pointed out that one of LHS’ strengths are their big men, who are really skilled at getting to work in the paint. Senior power forward Lance Bassett said that the high energy environment has been great year so far. 

“Just the community. Every home game, everyone comes out, and away games, people show up,” Bassett said. “It’s just a good atmosphere all the time.” 

Senior guard Macade Lewis is looking forward to a positive season. 

“We play well together, and we’ve grown up around each other and we know how we play, and we know what the expectation is for a Lawrence High basketball team,” Macade Lewis said. “We’re good at pushing the ball, specifically, and playing together.”

Coach Lewis said defense is a strength for his team. 

“I’ve like our energy on defense, I feel like we’re playing hard, so I’d probably put our team defense as our strength.” 

Lewis especially wants the team to work together to improve. 

“We keep emphasizing that the weight of our team is on everybody’s shoulders, and I feel like our guys are truly buying in to that,” he said. “It requires all of us to step up in different situations, so I hope during our season, we continue to have that vibe about us. That we’re counting on each other, and the weight is on everybody’s shoulders.”

The Lions play Shawnee Mission Northeast at home on Friday, their last December game before a holiday break to recharge. Macade Lewis set the tone for the game and the rest of the season. 

“Go Chestys!”