Girls erupt after halftime against Central Heights
Halftime might have been the most important part of Tonganoxie's game Monday against Central Heights.
Trailing 30-21 and headed into their locker room, the Chieftains were sluggish in the first half. With many shots not falling, especially from under the basket, Tonganoxie's season opener didn't begin favorably in the Anderson County Invitational.
But when the Chieftains emerged from the locker room for the second half, the team had a fresh start in Garnett.
Trailing 36-23 early in the third quarter, Tonganoxie erupted for a 15-0 run and took the lead. Central Heights tied the game at 38, but would never regain the lead as the Chieftains eventually prevailed, 56-46.
"We actually were running our offense in the second half," THS coach Randy Kraft said.
And although Central Heights was on fire offensively in the first half, the Chieftain defense came through in the second half despite Alicia Stahl's 25-point outburst.
Defensively, the Vikings press caused problems in the first half, but Tonganoxie, which used about three different pressing attacks in the second half, smothered CHHS.
Success on the free-throw line didn't hurt, either. Tonganoxie finished 22-of-33 for the game, but missed just two free throws in the second half. THS made 13-of-15 charity shots.
Junior Addie Heim, the Chieftains' top scorer with 18, was 8-for-13 from the line. She didn't have an explanation for the team's percentage.
"We're doing the same things as last year," Heim said. "Maybe it was Lady Luck on our side."
Now 1-0, Tonganoxie will play Burlington at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Wildcats defeated Wellsville, 86-37. In other tournament games, St. Marys edged Osawatomie, 41-39, and Chanute was a 44-31 winner against Anderson County. The Chieftains then will play either at 5:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Friday.
In boys action at Central Heights, Anderson County defeated Olathe Christian, 88-31, on Monday.
The Chieftains played Central Heights and will play either Burlington or Osawatomie on Thursday.
With a win Tuesday, the team plays at 8 p.m. With a loss, the team plays at 5 p.m.
Tonganoxie 56, Central Heights 46
Central Heights 14 16 8 8 -- 46
Tonganoxie 7 14 18 17 -- 56
Central Heights (0-1) -- Stahl 25, Baker 9, Cox 8, Midfelt 2, Adkinson 2
Tonganoxie (1-0) -- Heim 18, Pistora 7, Holliday 11, McWilliams 5, Breuer 5, Weller 4, K. Jeannin 4, L. Jeannin 2.