YUKON — Glencoe’s Ty Lazenby dribbled across the lane, appearing content to pull the ball out and kill some more fourth-quarter clock. Then the 6-foot-5 junior dropped a no-look pass backward over his right shoulder to Andrew Kuhn for an easy layup.
It was just one of those days for Lazenby and the second-ranked Panthers, who remained undefeated with an 83-69 win over No. 14 Velma-Alma in the first round of the Class A boys state basketball tournament Thursday at Yukon High School.
Lazenby finished with 31 points, and his older brother, Jake Lazenby, scored 17 for the defending champion Panthers (27-0). The 48 combined points from the Lazenby boys is the type of performance small-school basketball fans have come to expect.
But Kuhn was the Panthers’ unsung hero Thursday. Undersized for the forward position, the 6-foot sophomore had 15 of his 19 points in the second half to provide a needed boost when Velma-Alma was trying to limit the Lazenby brothers.
“The kid’s strong as a horse,” coach John Lazenby said. “He’s had a tough time finishing, and he missed some today. But he shot free throws better, and he picked up those loose balls and stuffed them in the hole, took some dishes from Ty and finished. It was huge.”
Conner Sullivan had 28 and Jaz Gayanich had 21 for Velma-Alma, which concluded the season at 21-7.
Velma-Alma got within 52-50 late in the third quarter, when Ty Lazenby took over, scoring 14 points the rest of the way.
“Ty is just one of those kids you hope to get to coach once,” his father and coach said. “And if you get any others, you’re blessed.”