Tonganoxie falls to Topeka-Hayden
After a roller coaster season, Tonganoxie High School's boys basketball team ended its year on Monday with a 37-63 loss to Topeka-Hayden in the first round of Sub-State.
The game, at home, was the most recent of five straight the Chieftains have lost following a seven-game, mid-season winning streak.
Coach Mike Webb said the major reason the season ended on a low note for the team was turnovers.
"We had 24 turnovers last night (Monday)," Webb said. "We've got to develop the mentality of taking better care of the ball."
Those 24 turnovers brought the Chieftains' total for the last five games to 118.
Although the season might not have ended as Webb had envisioned, all in all, it was a good year.
"I really don't feel we had a bad season," he said. "Heck, nine wins is nothing to be ashamed of especially after starting 1-6."
Sandwiched between the 1-6 start and the 0-5 finish, the Chieftains played their best basketball of the season in the middle, going 8-1.
"Those four seniors took us a long way this season," Webb said. "They put in a lot of minutes during that winning streak maybe too many."
He said his team leaders might have run out of gas after pouring everything they had into mid-season games.
But whatever the reason, on Monday night the Chieftains came out slow.
Topeka-Hayden jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead. After that, Tonganoxie played even with the team until midway through the second period.
Hayden was still up by 10, 26-16, when it went on a 10-2 run to close out the half.
The score was 18-36 at the break.
In the second half, Hayden picked up where it had left, going backdoor to score on its first possession.
The teams then played even for the rest of the third, and Hayden's lead remained at 20 after three.
Hayden outscored the Chieftains 12-6 in the forth to take the game and advance to the next round.
The game marked the fourth game in seven days for the Chieftains.
The team's first game of the week was a 46-64 loss to Piper, two-time defending Kaw Valley League champion.
Piper led the game the whole way. Senior Scott Breuer led the Chieftains with 22 points. Junior Bryan Gurss had 11.
The Chieftains next game was a make-up game at Bonner Springs the following day.
In that game Tonganoxie trailed 17-7 after the first quarter, 18-31 at half and 29-47 after three.
In fact, Bonner Springs was up by 22 points early in the fourth, but then Tonganoxie went on a tear and cut the lead to eight points with 2 1/2 minutes to play.
But Bonner Springs was able to hold its lead and won the game, 67-53.
Seniors Kyle Rodell and Breuer led the team in scoring with 12 apiece.
In its final game of the regular season, the Chieftains traveled to DeSoto on Friday to play Mill Valley.
Tonganoxie beat Mill Valley when the two teams met earlier this year, but this contest belonged to Mill Valley.
Mill Valley had expanded its 18-11 first-quarter lead to 35-24 by halftime.
In the second half, Mill Valley ran away with game, outscoring the Chieftains to take a 62-45 win.
As in its previous three games, Tonganoxie had difficulties holding on to the ball. The Chieftains committed 29 turnovers in the game.
Gurss led the Chieftains in scoring with 14. Breuer had 10.
After the game, Webb said he told his players that they should be proud of how they've played this season earning a first-round home game is an accomplishment.
"Something we were striving for in that winning streak was to put ourselves in a position to have that home game in the first round," he said. "And we did that."
The Chieftains finished the season 9-12 after going 10-11 last year in Webb's first season as coach.