Archive for Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Ending recent skid a must for Chieftains

January 19, 2005

The Tonganoxie High boys team strung together two wins in an exciting early-season tournament at Osawatomie.

Since then, the Chieftains have struggled to find another win.

The season was looking good at 2-2 after that tourney, but Tonganoxie has dropped four straight games. The Chieftains started the season with losses to St. Mary's and Osawatomie before winning against De Soto and Wellsville.

After that, Tonganoxie dropped games to Bonner Springs, Mill Valley, Immaculata and Basehor-Linwood. Against Immaculata, Tonganoxie was competitive for a half. Against Basehor-Linwood, Tonganoxie was involved in a barn-burner before a big BLHS fourth quarter doomed the Chieftains.

"We've taken steps in the right direction," THS coach David Walker said. "But we've got to put together a full game."

Now, Tonganoxie enters the Tonganoxie Invitational with a 2-6 record. On Tuesday, THS faced Jeff West, a team the Chieftains have defeated each of the last two years.

Tonganoxie has relied on 6-7 big man Michael Morris in recent games to lead the team offensively. Morris has put up more than 20 points in two games this year. Fellow senior Kirk Rodell was in that category earlier in the season, but both players haven't been able to put up big numbers on the same night.

The Chieftains could use a repeat of last year's tournament. Tonganoxie dropped Metro Academy and then upset Lansing, setting the stage for a title game against Immaculata. The teams were in a tight game for a half, but the Raiders then pulled away for the win.

This season, the teams won't meet again in the finals. With first-round wins, the teams would meet Friday in the semifinals.

The Tonganoxie Invitational again provides several interesting possible match-ups.

Tonganoxie could face Eudora in the second round, the team that knocked the Chieftains out of substate last season. Or, Atchison, a team Tonganoxie has gotten familiar with both in football and basketball, could meet the Chieftains in the title game. And although it would be in the losers' bracket, Tonganoxie could face arch-rival Lansing later in the week. The Lions lost to Pleasant Ridge on Monday.

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