Chieftain boys rally for win, climb to 2-2
David Walker's team suddenly is as good as new.
After frustrating losses dropped Tonganoxie to 0-2, the Chieftain boys basketball team responded with a 43-40 victory against De Soto last week in the consolation round of the Trojan Tip-off in Osawatomie.
And on Saturday, a furious late rally pushed Tonganoxie back to .500 with a 37-36 victory against Wellsville.
Tonganoxie trailed by seven with 1:24 left in the game, but the Chieftains stormed back despite shooting just 10-for-23 from the free-throw line.
Kirk Rodell again was Tonganoxie's spark. He scored 23 points in the victory.
Tonganoxie actually busted out of the gates with an 8-0 lead, but Wellsville then responded with a 12-2 run of its own.
"We didn't want to get into that, but we got into that," Walker said about the up-tempo speed.
That would change as the game continued.
Wellsville held a 19-17 lead at halftime. Each team then only scored five points in the third quarter.
With another run in the fourth, Wellsville went on a 7-0 spurt and held a 34-27 lead.
But as Tonganoxie was the first team to assemble a run in the first half, the Chieftains more importantly would be the last team to go on a run in the final quarter.
Tonganoxie then went on a 9-2 run.
A Rodell off-balance jumper tied the game at 36 and a final free throw with seconds remaining gave THS the thrilling victory.
After losing a close game to St. Mary's in the season opener and an overtime contest to Osawatomie, Tonganoxie appears to be making strides in its last two games.
"It's a process," Walker said. "You just have to keep fixing your mistakes."
Tonganoxie's win against Wellsville secured fifth place for the Chieftains in the Trojan Tip-off. That is the same spot they finished in last year in the nearby Ike Cearfoss Tournament at Central Heights. Tonganoxie fell to Central Heights in the first round and then defeated Osawatomie in the consolation round. Because of inclement weather, the Chieftains' final tournament game against St. Mary's was postponed and played later in the season at Tonganoxie, a game THS won.
At this year's tournament, Burlington was crowned the champion after the Wildcats disposed of Osawatomie in the tournament finals.
The Chieftains now will take on Bonner Springs on Friday in Tonganoxie for their final game before winter break.
Tonganoxie 43, De Soto 40
A strong defensive effort was the difference in Tonganoxie's first win of the season against former Kaw Valley League foe De Soto.
De Soto fell into the consolation game after losing to Central Heights, 61-51, in the first round of the tournament.
Osawatomie 51, Tonganoxie 45 (OT)
A Kirk Rodell three-pointer tied the game with four seconds left in regulation, but the Trojans outlasted the Chieftains, 51-45, in overtime. Rodell led all scorers with 20.
Tonganoxie 37, Wellsville 36
Tonganoxie 10 7 5 15 -- 37
Wellsville 4 15 5 12 -- 36
Tonganoxie -- Robert Kirch 4, Kirk Rodell 23, Levi Huseman 2, Michael Morris 4, Daniel Workman 4.
Wellsville -- Thatcher Starling 2, Scott Samuel 9, Kyle Rush 5, Fracier Messer 2, Austin Blass 9, Ryan Scherder 2, Dan Erlacker 7.
Osawatomie 51, Tonganoxie 45
Tonganoxie 6 14 9 12 4 -- 45
Osawatomie 6 13 10 11 10 -- 51
Tonganoxie -- Robert Kirch 6, Kirk Rodell 20, Levi Huseman 2, Jeff Hughes 1, Michael Morris 8, Daniel Workman 8.
Osawatomie -- T. French 5, Criddle 19, Welch 3, Clearwater 1, French 7, Jones 16.