Atchison staves off pesky Immaculata boys
If only Atchison and Immaculata had similar enrollments.
Unfortunately, Atchison is in Class 4A and Immaculata in 2A. If they were the same class they likely would have quite the rematch -- either in substate or at state.
Playing in the finals of the Tonganoxie Invitational boys tournament, Atchison, as it has done through its previous two games, raced to an early lead.
Immaculata, the No. 1 team in 2A, was down by as many as 17 to the No. 2 team in 4A.
The Raiders, though, were not fazed.
Immaculata stormed back in the second half. After scoring just 22 points in the first half, the Raiders equaled that total in the third quarter and then outscored Atchison by 10 in the fourth.
The game was tied at 65 with under a minute left.
Immaculata was in the perfect position to snag a win from Atchison and capture its second consecutive Tonganoxie Invitational title.
But Immaculata couldn't get over the hump. The Raiders fell behind by three in final seconds. On two different possessions, Immaculata had a chance to tie the game, but the Raiders couldn't get a late three-point shot to drop.
As the buzzer sounded, a rowdy Atchison crowd silenced the large green-clad Raider contingent.
If Immaculata only would have fared better from the free-throw line, Raider fans would have been the rambunctious group celebrating a major victory.
Immaculata went 4-for-14 from the charity stripe. Atchison, meanwhile, was 3-for-7.
With the win, Atchison (9-2) handed Immaculata its first loss of the season.
After a one-year hiatus, Atchison returned to the Tonganoxie Invitational this year. AHS also won the tourney in 2003.
Atchison's Jeff Downing, the tournament's most valuable player, scored 13 in the victory. Fellow all-tournament members JJ Seymore and Mark May had 20 and 15 respectively.
Immaculata's Danny McEvoy scored 27 for the Raiders.
McEvoy had two three-pointers, both of which came at crucial times during the second half.
Fellow Immaculata players Tim Supplee and Chase Day also were named to the all-tournament team.
Pleasant Ridge's Jacob Hendee also was named to the all-tournament team, while teammate Brad Heim was the tournament's most inspirational player.
Tonganoxie's Daniel Workman and Lansing's Jeff Slater made the team, as did Jeff West brothers Brady and Chase Rodecap.
In consolation games Saturday, Jeff West finished third with a 75-50 victory against Pleasant Ridge, while Lansing outlasted Tonganoxie, 49-46, in overtime for fifth place. In the seventh-place game, Silver Lake handled Eudora, 67-50, for its first win of the tournament.