Girls team challenges Immaculata
The girls basketball team is coming together.
Two disappointing games last week, a 45-39 loss at Piper, a team Tonganoxie beat in the Gardner-Edgerton tournament, and a 62-54 loss at Immaculata, left the team with things to work on during the break.
John Lee, girls basketball coach, is optimistic about January despite the losses.
"They came out and played hard," he said of the Chieftains effort against the Raiders Friday night.
Immaculata qualified for state last season and has a strong team again this year, but Tonganoxie was not intimidated.
The Chieftains didn't allow a quick basket followed by a steal, basket, foul, free throw an instant five-point lead to rattle them.
Deaven Workman scored 12 points including two three point shots in the first half. Marcy Dodge was all over the court, knocking Immaculata passes out of bounds and breaking up several passes to players under the basket. Sarah Overbaugh played strong underneath the basket, grabbing important rebounds and scoring on entry passes and offensive rebounds.
Seven Chieftains scored in the first half as Tonganoxie led 17-13 after the first quarter and 28-25 at halftime.
The Chieftains did struggle at times against the Immaculata pressure defense.
"This is one of the best presses we'll ever see," Lee said.
Several times during the game, Tonganoxie turned the ball over after failing to throw it inbounds within the allotted five seconds or failing to cross mid court in the allotted 10 seconds.
"Little things like that will kill you," Lee said.
The Raiders also attacked the boards and had multiple opportunities to score more often than they should have.
Immaculata threatened to take the lead throughout the third quarter, but could only pull into a tie, never taking the lead. The third quarter ended with the teams tied at 41.
In the fourth quarter, torrid shooting by Cory Shoaf and K.C. Bassett helped the Raiders pull away. Shoaf hit a couple of three point shots early in the quarter and numerous free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Lee couldn't find a shooter to match the Raiders offense. When the Chieftains needed quick scores, he had to pull Kristin Korb who had also been playing well in favor of a guard-centered offense.
The break will give the team to prepare for a busy January.
"We're going to be doing a lot of shooting," Dodge said.
Lee said he and Coach Leslie Foster would emphasize the little things that make a difference in a basketball game such as communication and blocking out during coming practices. He said the team would also talk about being smart with the ball and retaining possession of the ball after forcing a turnover.
Junior varsity notes
The junior varsity girls lost 61-32 at Piper and 37-26 at Immaculata.
The girls play their first home game Jan. 4 against Santa Fe Trail.