Bobcats stun Tonganoxie
The charity stripe was anything but free Feb. 3 for the Tonganoxie boys basketball team.
Playing against Basehor-Linwood, the Chieftains were charged with a 58-49 loss to the previously winless Bobcats after hitting just 12 of 31 free throws.
The loss dropped the Chieftains to 5-7 overall and 1-5 in the Kaw Valley League. THS had won three of its last four games before struggling against Basehor-Linwood.
"It's very simple," THS coach David Walker said. "If you can't hit free throws, you can't win the game."
Tonganoxie broke out to an early 8-2 lead, but Basehor-Linwood responded with its own steady run. Midway through the second quarter, the Bobcats held a 20-14 lead.
The Chieftains responded with a 10-0 run and held a 24-20 lead just before halftime.
But again, the hungry Bobcats roared back with an 8-0 run and held a 28-24 halftime lead.
Basehor-Linwood entered the game 0-11 on the season, but the Bobcats solid play in the second half helped break the streak.
BLHS built a 34-26 lead early in the third quarter before THS senior Derek Sparks hit a bucket and brought the Chieftains to within six. The scoreboard briefly read 104-34, but the glitch did not become an omen for the Chieftains.
Tonganoxie trailed by no more than five throughout the third and much of the fourth quarter. A Shane Howard three-point shot tied the game at 47, but BLHS then clinched the game with an 11-2 run. The Bobcats improved to 1-11 overall and 1-8 in the Kaw Valley League as a large congregation of green-clad fans celebrated its team's first win.
The Chieftains, meanwhile, were a somber group after dropping to 5-7 overall and 1-5 in the KVL. Tonganoxie's only league victory came against Basehor-Linwood in December at BLHS. The loss came just four days after the Chieftains pulled out a double overtime road victory against Jeff West.
Tonganoxie schools were not in session Monday because of winter weather conditions. Walker said the team had a voluntary shoot-around, but that lack of a scheduled practice didn't factor into the Chieftains' loss.
"You've got to be mentally ready to play a game and we weren't mentally ready to play this game," Walker said.
Tonganoxie was scheduled to be back on the court Friday at home against Santa Fe Trail, but the game was cancelled because of inclement weather. That game will be played at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Tonganoxie. Freshman and junior varsity games will not be played.
The Chieftains will play another make-up game Feb. 19 against St. Marys. The teams were scheduled to play in December at the Central Heights Invitational, but that game also was cancelled because of inclement weather.