Early lead doesn’t seal win
After scoring more points in the first quarter than its opponent did in the first half, the Tonganoxie girls basketball team on Friday lost by two points to Santa Fe Trail, bringing its record to 2-3.
The Chieftains were hot early on. Their offense cranked out 22 first-half points and their stingy defense held the Chargers to only 15.
"I thought the key starting out was good defense," said Coach Leslie Foster. "I thought they played really well. We've never run a 1-3-1 before."
Foster said she particularly impressed with the defensive play of junior Erin Seymour.
"She really added to how well we did (on defense)," Foster said. "Defensively, she just played outstanding."
But coming out of the locker room, Santa Fe Trail seemed to be almost a different team, matching Tonganoxie in defensive intensity while getting things going offensively.
Santa Fe Trail took its first lead of the game on a long shot from the right side of the perimeter with 40 seconds left in the third.
That shot put the Chargers up 31-30, which is where the score stood after three.
Santa Fe Trail continued to roll early in the fourth, pushing its lead to 37-32 after about a minute of play.
But then the Chieftains answered with back-to-back 15-footers from juniors Andrea Korb and Aimee Eisman to pull within one.
At that point, Tonganoxie's intensity went way up.
With about three minutes left in the game, senior Kristin Korb fought to force a jump-ball call and forced the Chargers to turn it over.
On the next possession, Kristin Korb, following her own missed shot, got her hand on the ball to force another jump ball.
With neither team able to get the ball in the basket, the score was still 36-37 when it seemed that Santa Fe Trail had an easy drive in for a layup to go up by three.
But Junior Andrea Korb held her position and took a forearm shiver for the charge and the ball.
But the Chieftains weren't able to score and, with 46 seconds remaining, were forced to foul to stop the clock.
After the Chargers missed the front end of a one-and-one, Tonganoxie called a timeout to talk things over.
Coming out of the time out, the Chieftains give the ball to Andrea Korb who barely missed a shot from the baseline.
With 25 seconds left, the Chieftains again had to foul to stop the clock.
Santa Fe Trail missed the free throws but played solid defense on the following possession, and the Chieftains turned the ball over.
The Chieftain again were forced to foul. This time, the Chargers made both shots to go up by three.
But seconds later, Seymour canned a long-range jumper from the right side, to pull the team back to within one.
But it wasn't enough and, after putting down another free throw, the Chargers sent the Chieftains home with a two-point loss.
"I thought it could have gone either way," Foster said. "We had a couple good shots at the basket late in the game, things just went their way."
The junior varsity team lost its game, 17-29, bringing its record to 2-3
The Chieftain's next game will be 6 p.m. Friday versus Mill Valley.