Chieftains outmuscle Bears on road
A young Tonganoxie High girls team is off to an early 2-0 start this season.
After winning a physical game on the road Friday at St. Marys, the Chieftains rolled to their second victory in as many chances with a win Monday against Olathe Christian in the first round of the Ike Cearfoss Basketball Tournament.
On Friday, THS outlasted St. Marys, 52-40, at St. Marys in a game that stayed close throughout.
Against Olathe Christian, the Chieftains exploded for an 84-32 victory -- but not until THS made some adjustments at halftime.
"In the first half, defensively, we committed too many fouls and didn't play well defensively," THS coach Randy Kraft said about the game against OC. "We corrected some problems at halftime and they played better in the second half. It was a totally different game."
Tonganoxie led, 39-25, at the half, and then held Olathe Christian to just seven points in the second half.
Ali Pistora led the team with 18 points, while Elizabeth Baska added 10 for the Chieftains.
With Monday's victory, Tonganoxie advanced to the second round of the Ike Cearfoss Tournament. The Chieftains will play the host school, Central Heights, which is north of Garnett.
The two teams were scheduled to play at 6:30 p.m. today.
Although Tonganoxie didn't play Central Heights last season, Kraft knows a little bit about the Vikings.
"They've got a lot of young players," Kraft said. "Not a lot of size."
With a win against the Vikings, the Chieftains would play in the championship game at 8 p.m. Friday. A loss would put Tonganoxie in the consolation game, which will be played before the title game Friday.
For more about whom Tonganoxie will play Friday, log on to www.tonganoxiemirror.com.
Tonganoxie 52, St. Marys 40
The rematch certainly wasn't a repeat.
Last season, Tonganoxie defeated St. Marys, 63-25, in the season opener for both schools.
This season, however, the game was much closer.
Throughout much of the game, Tonganoxie's lead never was more than five.
The Bears actually led, 13-12, at one point and answered most of Tonganoxie's scoring runs. At halftime, THS held a 22-19 advantage, but in the fourth quarter, the Chieftains eventually pulled away for the 12-point victory.
"Offensively we were very timid," Kraft said. "We weren't moving the ball or moving ourselves very well.
"Defensively we were a little overaggressive and weren't playing very good position defense. We got a little too aggressive there."
Although there was considerable difference between this year's matchup with St. Marys and last year's contest, the Chieftains have a substantially different team on the court this season.
With many seniors lost to graduation from last year's team, the Chieftains are working new players into the varsity rotation.
"It's going to take us some time to work out some things," Kraft said. "We have a lot of new faces on the court.
"Every game we keep getting better. We've played two games and continue to get better in a lot of areas."