Nevermore Chieftains stop Junior Ravens
THS grabs first postseason victory in more than a decade
Maur Hill cheerleaders waited patiently for speakers to blare music for their halftime performance Tuesday at the Tonganoxie-Maur Hill Sub-state game in Atchison. The performance finally kicked in just in time for the second half.
Unfortunately for the Maur Hill basketball team, the same couldn't be said.
Tonganoxie, which led 19-15 at halftime, didn't allow a Maur Hill bucket until the 5:47 mark of the third quarter. Tonganoxie went on a 9-2 run and had a 28-17 lead. The Junior Ravens managed a free throw at the 3:09 mark, then scored its second field goal with 45 seconds left in the third, but Tonganoxie built another run and had a 36-20 lead.
The Chieftains outscored Maur Hill 21-20 in the fourth, but the more even final quarter still produced a 57-40 win. The victory was Tonganoxie's first postseason win in more than a decade."
"We were tentative in the second quarter," THS coach David Walker said. "I told them we needed to attack the basket. The players took over from there."
The Chieftains started hot, but the pace slowed, thanks to the Junior Ravens' zone defense. Tonganoxie, though, switched from a 1-3-1 to a man-to-man and back. The variety appeared to help, especially in the pivotal third quarter.
Walker also credited strong rebounding, specifically by senior Jordan Glenn, as a reason for Tonganoxie's big win.
Now, the Chieftains (11-10) direct their attention to a familiar foe top-seed Lansing, which defeated No. 8 Holton on Tuesday in Lansing. The two Kaw Valley League teams will play Friday evening in Hiawatha.
"We've wanted this all year," Walker said. "We've talked about meeting them again in Sub-state. This gives us the opportunity."
The long postseason drought was nearly four years too long for a certain group the seniors. Now they want to get one more step closer to Salina and the State Tournament.
"We've lost to them twice," senior Bryan Gurss said about Lansing. "The two games we lost we thought we didn't play well. If we have our intensity, we can take them."
A win against the Lions would guarantee the Chieftains a winning season for the first time since 1991-92, when THS went 12-9.
Tonganoxie (11-10) 9 10 17 21 57
Maur Hill (11-10) 9 6 5 20 - 40