Free throws ice Lansing; THS 4-0
Free throws certainly aren't really free, but Tonganoxie cashed in on its trips to the charity line Tuesday at Lansing's Johnsmeyer Gymnasium.
Tonganoxie made 14 of 16 free throws against Lansing, including a 6-for-6 performance in the fourth quarter, as the Chieftains held off Lansing, 54-46. Tonganoxie improved to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the Kaw Valley League.
LHS (0-5 and 0-2) made just two free throws on the night, going 2-for-13 from the line, including a 0-for-7 effort in the first half. Clearly, the Lions could have won the game if they would have taken advantage of free throws, but Tonganoxie connected on its free throws and held on for the win.
During Tonganoxie's early winning streak, the Chieftains have found success at the free-throw line. Against Osawatomie in the championship of the Trojan Tipoff Tournament, THS went 15-for-19 from the line.
"I think it's a matter of repetition," THS coach David Walker said. "We're getting opportunities in practice to shoot free throws, maybe when we've been tired, and I think that's key for us."
The Lions were in good shape during the first quarter when they sank six of nine field goal attempts and got four points apiece from Jeff Jackson and Kevin Johnson. They held a 12-11 lead after the first eight minutes, but already they'd missed two free throws.
Lansing missed five more charities in the second quarter and saw its narrow lead slip away in the process. Up to that point, the Lions' problem at the line was their only glaring weakness.
They took care of the ball and took good shots. It was the free throws, however, that made the difference, as the Chieftains held a 24-18 halftime lead.
Tonganoxie's lead dwindled slightly early in the third quarter after Lansing went on a 6-2 run. THS led 30-27 when Lansing's Curtis Bell hit a free throw -- the Lions' first -- with 1:27 remaining in the third. It was the Lions' first made free throw of the game after eight straight misses.
In the fourth quarter, though, the Chieftains extended their lead to double-digits.
Chieftain senior Jeff Hughes opened the quarter with three straight baskets, two of which were uncontested drives to the lane. THS made seven of eight field goals in the final quarter and hit all six of its free throws to ice the game.
Hughes scored a game-high 15, as did Jackson and Beall for Lansing.
Tyler Miles chipped in 13 for the Chieftains, while Gabe Belobrajdic scored eight.
The tight game lived up to its billing as the Tonganoxie-Lansing rivalry, at least in boys basketball, continues to intensify. Student sections for both teams were especially raucous.
"I think especially in recent years, we've developed a little bit of a rivalry," Walker said. "Both crowds always show up for both games. Our fans have been fantastic so far.
"It's especially great on the road. When your crowd is as loud as their crowd, that always helped."
Tonganoxie played Tuesday at De Soto in the team's last game before winter break.
For more on that game, log on to The Mirror's Web site, www.tonganoxiemirror.com, and pick up a copy of the Dec. 27 edition of The Mirror.
The Chieftains will continue the season Jan. 5 against Bonner Springs at Tonganoxie. It will be Tonganoxie's first basketball game in the renovated THS gymnasium.
Basehor-Linwood game rescheduled
The Basehor-Linwood vs. THS game, which was scheduled for Dec. 1, has been rescheduled for Jan. 23 in Tonganoxie.
The teams will play again Jan. 26 in Basehor, as that date is a regularly scheduled game.
Tonganoxie will finish up its home tournament Jan. 20 before playing back-to-back games against the Bobcats the following week.
Tonganoxie is in a three-way tie for first place in the Kaw Valley League. Piper, THS and Basehor-Linwood all are 2-0 in league play. Piper is 5-0 overall, Tonganoxie 4-0 and Basehor-Linwood 3-2.
Tonganoxie 54, Lansing 46
Score by quarters
Tonganoxie 11 13 10 20 -- 54
Lansing 12 6 11 17 -- 46
Lansing-- Curtis Beall 6-12 1-2 15, Jeff Jackson 7-12 1-6 15, Kevin Johnson 3-5 0-2 6, Stephen Didde 3-5 0-2 6, J.T. Collins 1-2 0-0 2, Chris Hill 1-2 0-0 2, Clayton Hall 0-4 0-0 0, Peter Gibson 0-0 0-1 0.
Tonganoxie -- Jeff Hughes 7-10 0-0 15, Tyler Miles 3-7 7-8 13, Gabe Belobrajdic 3-8 2-2 8, Austin Smith 2-2 3-4 7, Zeb Kissinger 2-4 0-0 4, Jordan Herron 1-3 2-2 4, Keith Wentz-Hall 1-6 0-0 3, Jake Krause 0-1 0-0 0.
-- Chris Wristen contributed to this story.