By Rick Peterson

No. 8-ranked Lawrence scored the first nine points in overtime to finally subdue upset-minded Topeka High, 61-52, in Thursday night's final first-round game of the Topeka Invitational Tournament.

BrysonThrasherLawJunior Bryson Thrasher scored a game-high 23 points in Topeka High's 61-52 overtime loss to Lawrence in Thursday's opening round of the Topeka Invitational Tournament at Topeka West. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

But even though the Trojans fell to 1-9, Topeka High coach Geo Lyons walked out of the Topeka West gym confident that better days could be just around the corner for his team after Thursday's gutsy effort against the 7-2 Lions.

"We've got some tears flowing in the locker room right now and I told them, 'I like my locker room,' because that means it meant something,'' Lyons said. "If it means something like that, if you're hurting after that game, that loss, then we can work with that, so I feel good. I've got goosebumps right now with my locker room.

"We did so many great things tonight and I told the boys, 'We're not an easy out, everybody has had to bring their best effort to beat us' .''

Lawrence led 13-12 at the end of the opening quarter and held a slim 26-22 lead at the half before Topeka High rallied to take a 42-41 advantage into the fourth quarter when junior Bryson Thrasher canned a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter.

Topeka High led 46-43 with five minutes left in regulation and 48-45 with two and a half minutes remaining before Lawrence junior Zaxton King canned a clutch 3-pointer to knot the game at 48.

The Trojans regained the lead on a Thrasher hoop with 1:28 left but King canned a pair of free throws with 1:05 remaining to send the game to overtime.

Lawrence never trailed in overtime after a quick basket by senior Jaylon Case and the Lions opened up a 59-50 advantage with just 15.5 seconds left in the OT on two King free throws.

Thrasher scored High's first points of the overtime with just 10.1 seconds remaining before Lawrence senior Lance Bassett hit two charities to account for the final margin.

King led Lawrence with 20 points, going 11 of 13 at the free throw line, while Bassett added 11 points.

Thrasher, a 6-foot-1 junior, led all scorers with 23 points while senior Mason Gomez added 11 points and sophomore Da'Mykel Hales 10 points.

The Trojans played much of the game without standout junior guard Isaiah Lyons, who was experiencing back spasms, and High was also without senior Ty Votaw (concussion protocol).

Lawrence advanced to Friday's 6:45 p.m. semifinal to face tournament host Topeka West, a 55-32 winner over Lansing.

Topeka High will take on Lansing in a 3:15 consolation game. 


Lawrence               13 13 15 9 11  -- 61

Topeka High            12 10 20 8 2 -- 52

Lawrence (7-2) -- Case 2 1-2 5, Lewis 2 2-3 7, Simmons 2 1-4 5, Leuschen 2 0-0 4, King 4 11-13 20,  Bassett 4 3-6 11, Ostronic 1 0-2 2, Watson 3 1-4 7. Totals 20 19-34 61.

Topeka High (1-9)-- Lyons 0 0-0 0, Thrasher 9 2-4 23, Hales 3 4-5 10, Norman 2 0-0 5, Gomez 4 1-2 11, J. Villegas 0 0-0 0, M. Villegas 0 0-0 0, Mosqueda 1 0-0 3, Storrer 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 7-11 52.

3-point goals -- Lawrence 2 (Lewis, King), Topeka High 7 (Thrasher 3, Gomez 2, Norman, Mosqueda). Total fouls -- Lawrence 15, Topeka High 25. Fouled out -- Mosqueda, Ostronic. 


Highland Park 67, Shawnee Mission North 36

Wichita Southeast 76, Hayden 75 (OT)

Topeka West 55, Lansing 32

Lawrence 61, Topeka High 52 (OT)


3:15 p.m. -- Topeka High vs. Lansing

5 -- Hayden vs. Shawnee Mission North.

6:45 -- Lawrence vs. Topeka West.

8:30 -- Highland Park vs. Wichita Southeast