Savannah too strong in finals
A Kansas school trying to build its program collided Saturday with a Missouri squad that's already well-established.
Tonganoxie, trying to add wins to its encouraging 2-0 start, met Savannah, Mo., in the Atchison Tournament girls final.
The Savages, a Class 3A state tournament team the last two years, handed Kansas Class 4A Spring Hill its only regular season loss last year. Last weekend, they presented the Chieftains with their first loss of the season, a 66-35 drubbing for the tournament title.
"That was a good team," THS coach Randy Kraft said. "They executed well."
After enjoying some offensive production in its first two games of the tournament, Tonganoxie was smothered in the finals. The Chieftains went 13-for-40 from the field. Despite the 32 percent shooting, Kraft said his young team improved in the second half.
"If you want to get to that caliber, you have to play teams like that and learn from that," Kraft said.
Tonganoxie had an early 4-3 lead, but the taller Savages started to widen the gap with a 17-6 lead after the first quarter. With a 33-12 halftime lead, Savannah handled the boards, grabbing 11 defensive and nine offensive rebounds.
The lopsided loss didn't bring a happy end to the tournament, but the girls did earn a second-place plaque and finished the tournament with a winning record.
"As inexperienced as we are, that's a great way to start out," Kraft said.
The Chieftains had some decent scoring distribution in the tournament, but one young player led the way against Savannah. Sophomore Addie Heim had 17 points in the loss, padding her 13-point average after three games.
"I knew they were going to be a good team, so I came in with a lot of desire," Heim said.
Tonganoxie had to deal with another good team Tuesday in its home opener against Immaculata. The game did not meet The Mirror's deadline, but it will be televised on taped delay by Sunflower Broadband's Channel 6 at 10:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.
"We'll have to do our best and smile for the cameras," Heim said Saturday.
Tonganoxie 58, Metro Academy 21
Runs of 14-0 and 8-0 in the second half sealed a rout in Tonganoxie's second game of the tournament. The Chieftains had nine players score, as sophomore Madison Weller led the team with 10 points.
Addie Heim had nine points, while Hannah Heintzelman, who scored six consecutive points, finished with eight. Michelle McWilliams also had eight, Jennifer Reischman six, Kelly Breuer five and Laura Korb, Katie Jeannin and Sarah Holliday each with four in the victory.
Tonganoxie 53, Atchison 39
A physical Atchison High team couldn't stay with the quicker Chieftains. AHS stayed in a man defense much of the night, but Tonganoxie ran to a 19-14 lead after the first quarter and a 32-20 advantage at halftime. The Chieftains maintained their lead and gave Kraft his first win as Tonganoxie's coach.