COURT NOTES: Lansing off to 4-0 start

By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com

If one team appears to be a favorite to win the Kaw Valley League at this point in the season, it's the 4-0 Lansing Lions.

Lansing defeated Lawrence Free State 57-53 on Saturday night in Lansing. A day before, they crushed Topeka-Seaman High School 66-36.

The Lions, a preseason Top 5 team in most 5A polls in boys basketball, have leaped to #5 in 810 Varsity's Top 25 poll.

A look at how they've done it.

  • Hot three point shooting from junior Zach Jackson. Jackson is 9-of-21 from the three-point line to begin the season, a really good clip at the high school level in terms of percentage. Jackson and Lucas Mein can make it rain from three. It would probably be a good idea for opposing defenses to try and guard them.
  • Tremendous balance. Joe Schneider leads the team in scoring with 15.3 points per game. After that, though, there's a steady list of players contributing. Jackson is averaging 9.3 ppg., Khalil Bailey is averaging 9.0 ppg and Clay Young also has chipped in with 9.0 ppg. Roy Clayter and Mein are also averaging about 6 ppg, giving the Lions good balance. That's been the staple of a Lansing program that's earned two consecutive trips to Topeka, Kan.
  • Holding teams in check on the scoreboard. While some of that could be due to style of play, the Lions have held teams to just 46 points per game early on in the season.
Despite losing Izaiah Grice, it appears the Lions could be better offensively this season. Their junior class has really stepped up so far in the season.

Their next big test should come Dec. 18 when they host Mill Valley, a team that already has a tough road win against Piper.

And as Piper proved in Paola last week, they are not the Piper of the past three or four years.