Late adjustment turns corner for Chieftains
During Monday night's game against Basehor-Linwood, Tonganoxie coach Leslie Foster unveiled a new full-court press.
The Chieftains opened up in their new 2-2-1 press and after three quarters THS was trailing, 35-33.
So for the fourth quarter, Foster scrapped the new press and went back to the old 1-3-1 trapping press the team was used to. The result was a 14-7 fourth-quarter domination and a 47-42 Tonganoxie win.
"We were using an entirely new press and it wasn't really hurting us, but it wasn't helping us either," Foster said. "So we switched back to the old press and I think that was the difference in the game."
The old press produced a 10-0 fourth-quarter run that saw the Chieftains turn a 37-33 deficit into a 43-37 lead. From there, THS maintained its lead from the free throw line, connecting on seven of 10 free throws down the stretch and iced the game.
After jumping out to an early 8-3 lead, THS trailed 9-8 after the first quarter. Foster said not having played since the Free State Firebird Winter Classic and missing four days of practice last week because of the bad weather contributed to early miscues.
The Bobcats (6-7 overall and 5-4 in the Kaw Valley League) struggled in the first quarter as well, but in the second quarter both teams picked up the pace. Tonganoxie outscored BLHS 19-14 in the second quarter and went into the locker room with a 27-23 lead.
Outscored 12-6 in the third quarter, Foster said she challenged her team to attack the glass in the final quarter.
Attack they did.
The Chieftains dominated the offensive glass, ripping down 20 offensive boards in the game, 10 of which came in the decisive fourth quarter.
"We've really been working on blocking out and we did a very good job of that tonight," Foster said. "Particularly in the second half."
With the win, the Chieftains moved to 5-9 on the season, and more importantly into a second-place tie with Lansing for seeding at sub-state.
Keri Walker led the way for the Chieftains in the scoring column as she poured in a game-high 12 points. Andrea Korb chipped in 11 points and Aimee Eisman added eight.
Tonganoxie is back in action next Tuesday with a home game against Immaculata. The Chieftains also played Lansing on Tuesday. Results of both games will be in next week's Mirror.