Atchison place to be for start of winter sports
When Tonganoxie High's boys basketball team opens it season a week from Thursday, it will meet an all too familiar foe.
The Chieftains will open the season in the
Atchison tournament against the host school. The Redmen defeated Tonganoxie, 66-55, in a Class 4A substate final about nine months ago. Atchison went to Salina with a state berth; Tonganoxie headed home after advancing deep in the tournament for the first time in more than a decade.
"It's kind of poetic that we start with the last foe from last year," THS coach David Walker said. "It's a good way to evaluate where we're at with a good team like Atchison."
Tonganoxie fans will get to know the route to Atchison well, starting Dec. 5. For three days, the Chieftain boys and girls basketball teams will participate in Atchison tournaments. And on Dec. 7, the THS wrestling team also will be in a tournament in Atchison. That event begins at 9 a.m., while the boys basketball team begins the season at 8:15 p.m. on Dec. 5. The girls start off against Atchison as well with a 6:30 p.m. tipoff that day. THS coach Randy Kraft said the tournament would be perfect for his team.
"I always like to start the year with a tournament," Kraft said.
Tonganoxie's newest girls coach said he hasn't scouted any of the teams in the tournament. The field includes Flint Hills and Atchison in Tonganoxie's pool, along with Metro Academy (Mo.), Savannah (Mo.) and Lansing in the other pool.
"I do some of that stuff," Kraft said about scouting. "I'm always a lot more concerned about what we're going do."
The Tonganoxie teams will then play Metro Academy on Dec. 6. And on Dec. 7, the teams will play in the fifth-, third- or first-place games, depending on their positions in the pools. The fifth-place and third-place games will be at 2:45 p.m. (girls) and 4:30 p.m. (boys). The fifth-place contests will be in the Atchison Elementary gym, while third-place games will be played in the high school. Championship games will be at 6:15 p.m. for the girls and 8 p.m. for the boys in the AHS gym.
As for the wrestling team, the Chieftains open with a dual tournament at 9 a.m. Dec. 7 that includes such teams as Atchison, Gardner-Edgerton and Piper.
"There's going be some good competition," THS coach Jeremy Goebel said. "It's one of those things where our lineup up and down is pretty tough."
Last week, the Chieftain wrestlers had conditioning practice in the morning, and then technique sessions in the afternoon.
"They're definitely going to be ready," Goebel said.