Tonganoxie, McLouth teams all enter break near .500 mark
State-ranked Mill Valley delivered punch after punch Friday in Tonganoxie, but the Chieftains didn't seem phased in the first half.
The Jaguars built a seven-point lead, then Tonganoxie cut it to three. Mill Valley then raced to a nine-point lead. The Chieftains then cut the lead to three before the Jags assembled a 6-0 run near the end of the first half.
Right before the half, Kirk Rodell hit a floater as time expired and the Jags had a 34-27 lead.
That Mill Valley lead increased by 10 more early in the second half before THS-- of course -- staged another run. The Chieftains were right in the game again, trailing 44-42.
But Mill Valley regrouped, threw a right hook and put away the Chieftains in a Kaw Valley League showdown.
The Jags assembled a 13-2 run and ended the third quarter with a 57-44 lead. Tonganoxie actually outscored Mill Valley in the fourth, but the damage already was done. The Jaguars prevailed, 74-66, and improved to 4-0 heading into the winter break. The Chieftains fell to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the KVL.
"We're still a little immature in certain situations," THS coach David Walker said. "But I really thought that once we adjusted to their physical play that we kind of realized the things that we were able to do against them.
"That worked until the third, when we didn't handle a couple situations very well."
The Chieftains mustered one last run against the undefeated Jaguars in the fourth, but Mill Valley slowed the tempo with a methodical and efficient four-corners offense. Mill Valley's balanced attack also hurt the Chieftains as four players scored in double figures: Jacob Eaton (17), Brandon Smith (15), David Woods (13) and William Reeves (10).
Junior Sam Mitchell tallied a game-high 19 points and fellow junior Kirk Rodell added another 14, but the efforts weren't enough to lead the Chieftains another win.
"The team played hard," Mitchell said.
Tonganoxie kept pecking away at Mill Valley's lead, but the Chieftains hurt themselves by allowing many MVHS offensive rebounds that translated into more points.
"We've just gotta get boards," Mitchell said.
THS has ample time to work on rebounds. Tonganoxie will begin winter-break practice on Monday and will be back in action Jan. 6 when the Chieftains play against De Soto in Tonganoxie.
A win would have been perfect Friday, but Walker saw a resilient team play on its home court.
"I was extremely happy with our effort," Walker said.
Tonganoxie 54, Basehor-Linwood 37
Against Basehor-Linwood on Dec. 16, the third quarter actually was the Chieftains' best period. Tonganoxie held the Bobcats to two points in that quarter and won its KVL opener against the Bobcats, 54-37, in Basehor.
Shane Howard led the Chieftains with a game-high 18 points. Justin Walker added nine points in the victory. Fellow senior Derek Sparks scored two points before injuring his ankle. Sparks likely will miss four to six weeks with the injury.
Mill Valley 74, Tonganoxie 66
Mill Valley 16 18 23 17 -- 74
Tonganoxie 11 16 17 22 -- 66
Mill Valley (4-0) -- Jake Summerlin 8, Brandon White 2, David Woods 13, Brandon Smith 15, Tommy Fitzgerald 2, William Reeves 10, Jacob Eaton 17, Tyson Corley 7.
Totals 26 20-32 74.
Tonganoxie (2-2) -- Billy Baska 4, Shane Howard 5, Kirk Rodell 14, Sam Mitchell 19, Levi Huseman 4, Justin Walker 2, Luke McCarty 6, Ben Brest12. Totals 26 10-17 66.
Tonganoxie 54, Basehor-Linwood 37
Tonganoxie 11 15 11 17 --4
Basehor-Linwood 9 10 2 16 -- 37
Tonganoxie -- Billy Baska 4, Shane Howard 18, Derek Sparks 2, Kirk Rodell 4, Sam Mitchell 9, Levi Huseman 4, Justin Walker 9, Luke McCarty 2, Ben Brest 2.
Basehor-Linwood -- Lashbrook 4, Armstrong 5, Group 2, Patterson 3, Box 3, Dowdall 3, Shumaker 8, Herbster 4, Smith 5.