Girls snag win after first-half lead
Friday night against Mill Valley, Tonganoxie High School's girls basketball team showed just how many offensive weapons it has as several players took turns stepping up in the team's 44-26 victory.
"One quarter Keri scored; one quarter Aimee scored," said Coach Leslie Foster. "Andrea got going in the first."
In fact, those three juniors Keri Walker, Aimee Eisman and Andrea Korb scored 31 of the Chieftains' points in the game.
Korb led the way for the Chieftains in the first, scoring four of her nine points as the Chieftains jumped out to a 10-4 first-quarter lead.
Walker took over in the second, unleashing a barrage of long-range jumpers to score eight points in the final three minutes of the half.
When the dust cleared, the Chieftains had outscored the Jaguars 12-6 in the second. Tonganoxie led 22-10 at the break.
Although only a few girls carried the scoring load, Foster said much of the team's success stemmed from strong team play specifically team defense.
Coming out of the locker room with a 12-point lead, the Chieftains' defense kept the Jaguars on their toes with different sets.
"Since we were up by such a significant amount at halftime, I thought we would work on some defenses," the coach said.
She said the experience would help the team be more versatile in the post-season.
As the team was switching things up defensively, Eisman had turned things up a notch offensively.
After only scoring two points in the first half, she caught fire and scored 11 during the final two periods.
Six of Eisman's points came in the third, the same quarter that Walker scored the final four of her 12 points.
Besides those two, Andrea Korb, Kristin Korb and Alicia Stauch also scored points in the quarter.
But things weren't completely rosy for Tonganoxie in the third.
In the quarter's opening moments, junior Jasmine McCaffrey came down wrong on her left ankle chasing down a loose ball.
She was assisted off the court unable to put any weight on her foot. Foster said McCaffrey would probably miss at least one game.
"That will be a significant loss for us," Foster said. "Especially because of her defense and rebounding."
Even without McCaffrey, the Chieftains held the Jags to 16 points in the half while matching their first-half output, scoring 22.
"I feel like we finally came together as a team," Foster said. "Now we can focus on doing what this team can do."
The win moved the Chieftains' record to 3-5. The team's next matchup is Monday at Free State High School's tournament.
The junior varsity team won its game Friday as well, taking down the JV Jags 31-22.
Down 8-9 at halftime, the Chieftains regrouped in the locker room and caught fire with a flurry of press- and defense-initiated field goals.
After scoring nearly triple its first-half point total in the second half, Tonganoxie Coach Clint Newton said he was proud of how his team never gave up and came out aggressive after the half.
"Basically, in the second half we started pressing," he said. "And the girls did an excellent job. We got several turnovers that really got us going."
The win moved the girls' record to 3-4.