This time, Glencoe got to start celebrating a little early.
With 1:26 left in the game, and his team up by 20 points, coach John Lazenby sent a full lineup of reserves into the game and brought his starters to the bench.
“When you get to sub them out and hug them, it was like, ‘Man this is kinda nice,’” Lazenby said. “It was just so special.”
The subs ran out the clock on Glencoe’s second consecutive Class A boys basketball championship, 57-39 over Kiowa Saturday afternoon at State Fair Arena.
Last year’s title wasn’t decided until the final seconds, and Saturday’s game looked like it might be heading for a tight finish. But the blowout came on suddenly.
After Kiowa scored to pull within 36-32 late in the third quarter, Glencoe’s Ty Lazenby went down the floor and hit a 3-pointer. Then he hit a layup to end the third quarter, and two more to start the fourth.
After a 3-point play by Andrew Kuhn, the four-point difference quickly became 16, and Glencoe had virtually sealed up its perfect 29-0 season.
Lazenby finished 37 points, and when he exited, his total matched what Kiowa had scored. Jake Lazenby added seven points, while Kuhn had five points and eight rebounds for Glencoe.
Ty Lazenby had 21 of his points in the second half, but the offense really opened up when he stopped trying to score so much.
“I was forcing it a little too much,” Ty said. “My dad (coach John Lazenby) to work the ball and trust my teammates, so I did and it worked out.”
Against Kiowa’s feisty defense, which had caused problems for teams all week, Glencoe struggled to find its offensive rhythm early.
“A lot of it was just nerves. We had to get over those,” said Ty Lazenby, a 6-foot-5 junior point guard who is being recruited at the Division I level. “Once you get into the flow of the game, it all comes back, and it’s just playing basketball. And that’s what we do best.”
Brice Smith had 13 points for Kiowa, and Clay Doyle – the only senior in the starting lineup – had nine. The Cowboys’ run to the title game included a first-round state tournament upset of No. 1 and previously undefeated Fort Cobb-Broxton Thursday. They concluded the season at 27-5.
Glencoe is now 60-1 over the last two championship seasons.
“We’re the only undefeated team in the state in boys basketball, and we’re done,” John Lazenby said. “I always tell the boys that you can’t be happy unless you win the last one, and we’re pretty happy.”