Morris’ big night can’t push Chieftains to win
Tonganoxie tower Michael Morris had a breakout game Friday.
Unfortunately for the comeback Chieftains, the performance wasn't enough in Bonner Springs.
After sitting out last season, Morris has shown signs of being a commanding presence in the paint, but the 6-4 junior didn't have a big game -- until Friday.
Morris made himself comfortable down low, scoring 13 points. And on the defensive end, Morris had a handful of blocks.
"He's a kid who started the season a little behind because he didn't play last year," Walker said. "He came in every day, busted his tail and played some J.V.
"But he never complained. Now it's paid off for him."
Morris re-entered the game late in the midst of a tight contest, but Morris couldn't propel the Chieftains past Bonner Springs in the final minutes as the Braves won, 66-57. Still, it was an encouraging performance for the junior.
"I had confidence," Morris said. "We stayed in it pretty well until the end and then we backed down."
Bonner Springs actually appeared headed for a rout early.
Thanks to a horde of 3-point shots, the Braves opened with a 27-15 lead after the first quarter. Bonner Springs was on pace for 100 points, but Tonganoxie roared back in the second quarter, outscoring the Braves 16-8 and cutting the lead to four at halftime.
The momentum continued in the third quarter for the Chieftains. After posting 15 in the first and 16 in the second, the trend continued with 17 in the fourth.
The Chieftains held a 48-47 edge going into the final quarter, but the Braves found their touch again on a night when the 1984 Bonner Springs state championship boys basketball and volleyball teams were recognized.
Tonganoxie held its biggest lead at 50-47, but Bonner Springs went on a 14-3 run and eventually sealed the victory. Toine Barber led the Braves with a game-high 24, while Christian McDonald contributed 16 and Sidney Birdsong pitched in 14.
"We have a lot of talent as individuals," Walker said. "When we start believing in ourselves, we'll be OK."
With the loss, Tonganoxie dropped to 2-5 overall and 1-4 in the Kaw Valley League.
Bonner Springs 66, Tonganoxie 57
Tonganoxie 15 16 17 9 -- 57
Bonner Springs 27 8 12 19 -- 66
Tonganoxie (2-5) -- Billy Baska 7, Shane Howard 2, Kirk Rodell 9, Sam Mitchell 1, Levi Huseman 1, Justin Walker 6, Luke McCarty 10, Ben Brest 1, Mike Morris 13 Derek Sparks 7. Totals: 22 12-17 57.
Bonner Springs (4-4) -- Toine Barber 24, Jeff Hills 0, Sidney Birdsong 14, Christian McDonald 16, Brett Shelton 2, Travis Shockey 0, Don Kirby 2, Nick White 8. Totals: 29 3-8 66.