Tonganoxie twins stay active in basketball leagues
Basketball has always been a winter sport, but Rachel and Rebbeca Bogard are slowly making it a year-round endeavor.
The twins, entering the seventh grade, started junior high volleyball practice on Monday. But the two have been playing in a Johnson County league for the last two seasons.
In the spring, Rachel and Rebecca played with the Ladycats, a team consisting of Bonner Springs and Basehor girls, along with the Bogards.
Basehor's Greg Douglas coached the team. His daughter, Ashley, had played previously for the Bonner Springs Swoosh. Another team was formed and Douglas became the coach.
"I kind of got stuck into it," Douglas said.
The Ladycats started playing in the spring and started well. The team went 7-1 and won the league for that season. Games were played at the Johnson County Girls Gym in Overland Park.
Douglas recruited the Bogards while watching them play in Tonganoxie. For the summer season, though, Tonganoxie fielded a team and Rachel and Rebecca went to the hometown team.
The Ladycats went 6-2 in the summer. Douglas said that the team practiced once all summer because of conflicts with softball. He was impressed with how the team gelled in that time frame.
Rachel and Rebecca, meanwhile, had a similar situation in Tonganoxie. Both were on the Tonganoxie Braves softball team and the Tonganoxie Braves basketball team. Other team members for basketball were Hannah Herrstrom, Ashlee Lohman, Amie Riddle, Ali Pistora, and Amanda Albert. All five also played on the Braves softball team that played in a national tournament in Oklahoma City and went 51-14 this summer. Rachel and Rebecca started playing for the softball team in the national tournament.
Braves coach Pat Albert said the basketball team ran the same offenses as junior high coach Phil Jeannin to familiarize the team with what they'll be doing in the winter.
"If you're going to be a player, you have to keep involved year-round," Albert said.
Albert and Craig Lohman coached both Braves teams. Albert was the head coach in softball, while Lohman held the reins in basketball. Weeks were pretty full with softball games, basketball games and practices. Albert said that when the team did have softball practice, it was no less than two hours long.
Rachel said that the basketball Braves usually practiced once a week for an hour and a half. The team went 7-3 and finished second in its first season.
Having one's sister on the court can be difficult, but Rachel said that they usually overcome any problems.
"Sometimes we get mad at each other on the court," Rachel said. "But we usually get over it."
The two will continue to stay busy throughout the year. Both are playing volleyball and will play basketball and participate in track when those seasons come around.
Although the twins enjoy each sport, they both had a favorite.
"Basketball," Rachel said.
"Basketball," Rebecca said.