Girls also lose to Immac in first matchup
Coach Foster preparing team for Friday night`s game against Perry-Lecompton
In it`s season-opener against Immaculata Friday, the Tonganoxie High School girls basketball team had every reason to be a little nervous.
It was the team`s first game of the first season under new head coach Leslie Foster. And the Chieftains were playing the top-ranked Class 3A school in the state. So probably few were surprised when Foster called a timeout 42 seconds into the game to calm her team`s nerves.
"All of us needed to relax," said junior guard Keri Walker. "Foster just seems to know what to say to relax us."
Whatever she said seemed to work because, after committing three quick fouls and two turnovers to start the game, the Chieftains found focus.
Though the Raiders began the game with a 6-0 run, Tonganoxie pulled to within five points by the end of the first when junior Alicia Stauch put in a layup at the buzzer. But the Raiders continued to play strong, going into the locker room with a 27-18 lead. The Chieftains were never able to catch the Raiders, who continued to build on their lead in the second to finish with a 49-34 victory. Foster said she was proud of her team for never giving up.
"I really only ask one thing of my players -- that they play hard," she said. "Every single person left it all on the court."
Even at the end the Chieftains never gave up. At one point late in the fourth, the team was down by 18 points, and the Raiders were pouring it on. Though the game was virtually out of reach, Tonganoxie fought back. In the span of two minutes Walker, who finished with eight points, hit three long-range jumpers. The team was hustling until the last tick on the clock was gone.
"We all put everything we had out there," Walker said.
Foster said that, while her team had some difficulty getting it going offensively, she was impressed with how well they played defensively. Junior Andrea Korb said she agreed.
"After the first minute we really picked up the intensity," she said. "By far, the biggest thing we did well was defense."
Korb and Stauch lead the team, scoring nine points apiece.
Earlier that night the junior varsity lost 32-19 and the freshman team lost 39-26
The team`s next game is Friday vs. Perry-Lecompton.