A winning state of mind
Boys seal two games, move to 7-7
The Tonganoxie High School boys basketball team won both of its games last week, moving its record to 7-7 overall and 5-6 in league play.
The two wins brought the team's winning streak to five. The Chieftains have won six of their last seven after starting the season 1-6.
"The kids are doing well. Every game they gain confidence," said Coach Mike Webb. "I'm very pleased with the progress we've made so far."
What progress the team has made was obvious on Friday at DeSoto as the team, clicking on all cylinders, jumped out to 16-9 lead behind a solid press and good team passing.
Things continued much the same in the second quarter, and Tonganoxie went into the locker room with a 30-18 lead.
The Chieftains didn't let up after the break, and by the end of the third, they had turned a 12-point lead into a 22-point lead.
And that's where things fell apart for the Chieftains for awhile.
"We lost composure in the fourth," Webb said. "They got really rough and, unfortunately, we started playing their type of game."
But the Chieftains were able to hold on to take a 54-42 victory.
"I'll definitely take an ugly win over a loss any day," Webb said.
The Chieftains had the edge in turnovers, committing 16 to DeSoto's 24.
Senior Scott Breuer led the team with 20 points. Junior Bryan Gurss finished with 12.
In the team's first game of the week, a Jan. 30 matchup at Basehor-Linwood, the Chieftains started out slowly and were clinging to a one-point lead at the half.
"But in the second half we slowly but surely began to pull away," Webb said.
The Chieftains were up by five after three periods of play, and had pulled to a 14-point lead in the fourth.
Tonganoxie went on to win the game, 55-45.
Breuer led the team in scoring with 18. Gurss had 14, and senior Matt Needham finished with nine.
Though the team started out slow, Webb said the game was probably the team's best performance from start to finish.
The team's next game will be Parents' Night at 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday against Immaculata.
The junior varsity boys basketball team beat the Wildcats, 49-42, after trailing by two at halftime on Friday.
DeSoto started the game on fire, going up on the Chieftains, 10-1, midway through the first.
But then Tonganoxie went on an 8-2 run to pull to 9-12 after one.
Neither team could get much offense going in the second quarter, and the score was 17-19, with DeSoto leading at the break.
Then the Chieftains outscored the Wildcats 13-7 in the third and 19-16 in the fourth to take the victory.
Coach David Walker said fatigue had been a factor in the game.
"Fortunately for us, they got a little winded down the stretch," he said. "We really had an advantage in depth."
The Chieftains played 12 boys, while DeSoto only played seven.