Boys basketball team loses two
Two years ago, the Ohio State mens basketball team had a losing record. Last year they played in the final four. This year their ranked nationally.
That's the example Mike Webb, Tonganoxie boys basketball coach, is holding up for his team. They might be going through a tough time now, but they'll emerge from it sooner or later.
The last two games of December proved frustrating for the Chieftains. They lost 63-55 to Piper at home in a game they only trailed by one at halftime. Then Immaculata, the fifth-rated team in 3A, blew them out, 64-28.
"We've just got to learn to play with more intensity from start to finish," said Mike Webb, Tonganoxie basketball coach.
The Chieftains came out hard against Piper. Both teams missed some easy shots in the first quarter which ended with a 10-4 Tonganoxie lead.
In the second quarter, Piper began to assert its height and size in the lane.
Lorenzo Lasley, Piper sophomore, hit two free throws, giving the Pirates a 22-20 lead with about a minute remaining in the first half. The free throws were Lasley's seventh and eighth points scored in the final three minutes of the half. The Pirates led 25-24 at halftime. The Chieftains trailed by 11 after three quarters and were never able to claw much closer in the fourth.
Immaculata jumped to an early lead on its homecourt and had as much as a 20-point cushion in the first half. The clock began to run continuously late in the third quarter because the Raiders had a 30-point lead.
Webb inserted a bunch of sophomores and let the starters sit out the fourth quarter while the younger players got some varsity experience. And the varsity regulars weren't completely down-spirited.
Matt Needham and Bryan Gurss both leaped to their feet and applauded the hustle and hard work of their teammates finishing the game.
He wasn't completely discouraged after the game. He said Scott Breuer played well on offense and Immac didn't do much to take Tonganoxie out of its offense.
"It was the defensive end that killed us," Webb said.
The team will search for some of the missing intensity during break.
"If everyone plays with Breuers offensive intensity on defense, we'll be OK," Webb said.
Junior varsity notes
The junior varsity boys lost 58-47 against Piper. They lost 37-20 against Immaculata.
The boys play Jan. 4, 2000, at Santa Fe Trail.