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Seniors Sent Out in Style

The Monarchs defeat the Westside Warriors 59-57 on senior night.

Caleb Feekin drives by a Westside player for a layup during the Color of Hope Game.

Caleb Feekin drives by a Westside player for a layup during the Color of Hope Game.

Ashley Mason

Ashley Mason

Caleb Feekin drives by a Westside player for a layup during the Color of Hope Game.

Devin Vetter, Sports Editor

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Senior forward Cole Lansman’s road to senior night was very different from seniors in recent memory.  

His high school career started off slowly as he only made the freshman “B-team” in his first year with the program. His first few games that year were spent on the bench on the lowest level team in high school basketball. The next two years after that were spent on preparatory teams, as he worked his way up the ranks of the Monarch basketball program.  

Finally, his time to shine came this year as players ahead of him either graduated or transferred out of Papio. He worked hard and eventually became a starter for coach Dan Moore.  

Even with his lack of meaningful playing time on varsity, his hard work paid off in triumph on Friday during a spirited fourth quarter capped by a big put-back layup to tie the game for the Monarchs (11-9).  

Lansman, along with his teammates helped lead Moore’s squad to an exhilarating 59-57 win over Westside (9-11) on senior night.  

“It was great,” Lansman said. “There was a very large crowd and the game was exciting.” 

In the first quarter, Westside got out to a quick start thanks to Dylan Plautz’s 5 early points. After the first quarter Westside held a 20-7 lead. 

In the second quarter Papio fought back under the senior leadership of Lansman and guard Caleb Feekin. Lansman hit a corner three and had a put- back layup on back-to-back possessions. Feekin hit a corner three while being fouled for the four-point play to cut the deficit to 22-21.

“I feel like my five quick points really influenced how the game went in the long run,” Lansman said. “They ended up being some big points in the overall scheme of the game.” 

With the Monarchs battling back in the second quarter, junior forward Hayden Bahl picked up his third foul when a Westside guard drove to the rim with 4:02 left in the half.  This sent Bahl to the bench for the rest of the half and for the start of the second half.  

“I don’t like to think about things like that in a negative way,” Bahl said. “I was disappointed, of course I never want to come out of the game, but fortunately my teammates were able to pick me up.” 

Near the end of the second quarter tensions rose between the teams going into the half after a foul was called on a Westside player.  

“It was just the competitive spirit of our guys,” Lansman said. “We were getting after it, which is what we like to do.” 

In the second half the intensity of the second quarter continued. The crowds of both teams got into the game and the gym was rocking.  

“The crowd made the game very exciting,” Lansman said.  

With 2:39 left in the game Papio trailed 53-49; however, the game swung dramatically when Caleb Feekin hit a deep three and then stole the in-bounds pass, which led to a Peyton Priest three.  

“Those guys are real competitors out there,” Bahl said. “They find ways every game to get us wins and to lead the team.” 

Near the end of the game Westside tied the game up at 57 making one of two free throws. The Monarchs came down the court and Feekin was fouled on the shot, making both free throws and giving Papio a 59-57 lead. With a few seconds left Westside missed a shot; a wild scramble for the ball ensued during which the clock ran out to give Papio the 59-57 win on senior night.  

The seniors Feekin, Priest and Lansman led the way in the game, scoring 47 out of Papio’s 59 total points.  

“It definitely meant a lot,” Bahl said. “That was their last game in the gym where they have been playing since freshman year, and it was very big for them.” 

For some seniors it may have been just another game; however, for Lansman it was the culmination of hard work and commitment to the process.  

“It was the most fun game of my life,” Lansman said.  



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Seniors Sent Out in Style