Boys drop two close matchups
After suffering through three tough losses during the pre-holiday season, the Tonganoxie High School boys basketball team found that the holiday break didn't turn the tide.
Last week the team dropped two games, by a combined eight points.
"It's just difficult to lose these close games," said Coach Mike Webb. "We could be 6-0 but instead we're 1-5. In every game we've been ahead."
In its first post-holiday game, a Jan. 3 snow make-up game against Lansing, Tonganoxie was up by six at half time, but Lansing tied the game with a free throw in the final seconds.
Lansing then outscored the Chieftains 11-8 in overtime to take a 50-47 victory.
On Friday night against Santa Fe Trail, things seemed to be going in the right direction for Tonganoxie, which jumped out to an 8-0 lead and finished the first quarter up 18-7. The score was 33-24 at halftime.
"Then we started making mistakes and they started parading to the free-throw line," Webb said.
The Chieftains were outscored 17-8 in the third. In the third quarter alone the Chargers had five attempts at three-point plays. Webb said a weakness for this year's team has been the number of free throws it allows opponents to shoot. In the Lansing game, the Chieftains gave up 48 free-throw attempts twice as many as they had.
"We need to get to the foul line more often," said senior Scott Breuer. "All those close games could have been solved if could have controlled the foul line better. We need to get there more often, and not send other teams there so much."
Things went better for the team in the fourth. Though the Chieftains only scored eight points, their defense held strong. In fact, Tonganoxie tied the game with one minute left on two free throws from Breuer. But in the last minute, the Chargers put down their shots. The score was 54-49.
"We really felt like the last two minutes of the game, the team played the game like we want them to play it," Webb said.
The junior varsity team lost, 38-66.
Tonganoxie's next matchup is 7:30 p.m. Friday against Mill Valley.