TOPEKA — South made several runs at Lawrence in Thursday’s first-round game of the Topeka Invitational, but the Lions had an answer each time, pulling away in the second half for a 74-60 win.
South (4-7) was within seven points (40-33) at the half, but Lawrence was in control 64-48 by the end ot the third quarter and went up 70-50 with4:40 remaining on an Anthony Bonner three-pointer.
Jordan Moore, a 6-foot-6 senior, scored 27 points for South to tie Lawrence sophomore Justin Roberts for game-high honors.
Junior John Barbee added 14 points and senior Connor Henrichs 12 points for Lawrence, which played in the championship game last season.
Sophomore Dawson Gunter added 10 points for the Titans, but no other South player scored more than six points.
“Right now we’re still trying to find that identity of what it’s going to take to win,’’ South coach Chuck Gunter said. “Winning’s got to become a habit and some of these kids don’t know yet how to make winning a habit.’’
While pleased with Moore’s performance offensively, Gunter said the Titans are still looking for more balance.
“We’ve got to find more people to step up with him as far as offensive output, and people have got to be consistent,’’ Gunter said.
Highland Park 62, Northwest 44 — Northwest flirted with one of the state’s biggest upsets for three quarters before undefeated Highland Park used a 22-9 fourth quarter to put the Grizzlies away.
Northwest (4-6) led 13-10 at the end of the first quarter and the Grizzlies trailed by just a 26-22 count at the half and by a 40-35 margin at the start of the fourth quarter before Highland Park (10-0) took control.
Junior Aaron Nicholson led Northwest with 15 points, including four three-pointers, while junior Nick Williams added 11 points on a pair of three-pointers.
Highland Park coach Ken Darting was not happy with the Scots’ defense against Northwest’s shooters.
“We knew exactly who could shoot but we let the two guys who can shoot continue to shoot,’’ Darting said.
“No. 13 (Nicholson) looked like a McDonald’s All-American against us. He was shooting threes all over the gym.’’
Highland Park senior Jahmal McMurray led all scorers with 19 points while senior Shaffee Carr added 18 points and senior Eddie Hunt had 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Lawrence 74, South 60
South: Hudspeth 1, Lee 6, Gunter 10, Griffin 3, Moore 27, Brown 5, Rogers 4, Turner 4.
Lawrence: Roberts 27, Henrichs 12, Morgan 5, Rajewski 5, Bonner 7, Barbee 14, Applegate 4.
Highland Park 62, Northwest 44
Northwest: Williams 11, Cobb 4, Meyer 3, Nicholson 15, Carr 8, Johnston 3.
Highland Park: McMurray 19, Hunt 14, Clark 3, Kingcannon 2, Carr 18, Box 2, Osby 4.