THS girls dash Bonner upset hopes
Braves Hand Chieftain boys another defeat with 22-point victory
Perhaps the Tonganoxie girls should have played the Bonner Springs boys.
In what has become somewhat normal in this Kaw Valley League series, the Tonganoxie girls zipped past Bonner Springs and the BSHS boys dominated the Chieftains when the two schools hooked up on Friday night.
Neither game was close after the first quarter, and both resembled so many more that have come before them. The girls game might have been the more surprising of the two, as Tonganoxie -- perfect in league play -- routed Bonner Springs, 51-24. The win came just six weeks after Bonner Springs nearly knocked off Tonganoxie in the league opener. In that one, Tonganoxie did not own a meaningful lead until the final two ticks of the contest.
Friday, Tonganoxie left no doubts about which team was superior, racing out to a 23-11 halftime lead before pouring it on in the second half.
After the team's first meeting with Bonner Springs, senior Kelley Stauch said the team realized it couldn't take any squad lightly. As the team prepares each week for new opponents, the players have a motto, Stauch said.
"We say we don't want another Bonner game," said Stauch, who finished with six points.
The rematch began much the same way as the first game, as Tonganoxie controlled the tempo early but stalled when all-league standout Ali Pistora was forced to the bench with foul trouble. In this one, Pistora picked up her second foul of the game less than five minutes in. She sat for the remainder of the quarter and did not get back onto the floor until the start of the third quarter.
The Chieftains, without their versatile point guard, looked to forward Elizabeth Baska as the sophomore moved to the point while Pistora sat on the bench.
"We ran Liz at the point quite a lot tonight," THS coach Randy Kraft said. "She's doing a great job. You might see more of her at the point."
Baska finished the game with four points.
Rachel Bogard again led the team in scoring with 12, while Pistora had 11. Tracie Hileman and Shannon Carlin each chipped in eight as Tonganoxie improved to 12-1 overall and 6-0 in the Kaw Valley League.
Offensively, the Chieftains were patient in their half-court sets and they dissected the Bonner Springs defense for several easy lay-ups. On defense, they benefited from a horrid shooting night by Bonner Springs, but forced several misses with their tenacious full-court pressure. Bonner Springs (6-8 and 4-3) shot just 26 percent (11-for-42) from the field.
After winning the first two quarters by scores of 12-3 and 11-8, the Lady Chieftains poured it on with Pistora back on the floor. They won the third quarter 19-4, opening with a 12-0 run that put the game on ice. The blowout became official after Shannon Carlin connected on one-of-two free throws with 5:40 left to play. That pushed Tonganoxie's lead to 47-17 and the girls played the rest of the way with a running clock. If a team leads by 30 points, the clock runs continuously as a mercy rule the rest of the game.
Tonganoxie played against Bishop Ward on Tuesday at Kansas City Kansas Community College and will be home again next Tuesday with another KVL showdown against Santa Fe Trail.
Although the boys game never got quite that ugly, it also never was close, as Bonner Springs used its size and pressure defense to race to a 67-45 victory.
After falling behind early, 5-4, Bonner Springs responded with a 17-5 run that closed the quarter. The Braves recorded five steals in the opening frame and seniors Jeff Hills (11 points and 4 steals) and Nick White (4 points and 6 rebounds) led their team to a 21-9 lead at the end of one. Although the slower, more sluggish second quarter seemed to favor Tonganoxie early, Bonner Springs padded its lead by two before entering halftime with a 29-15 lead. Things only got worse in the third quarter, as the Braves saw their lead grow to 19 by the end of the third. Tonganoxie continued to compete throughout the game, and the Chieftains knocked down a couple of big shots to keep the score under control. But the BSHS lead never was in jeopardy. Bonner Springs made sure of that by forcing 27 turnovers and com
mitting just nine of its own. The lead grew to as many as 25 in the fourth quarter, and things reached their lowest point for the Chieftains when BSHS reserve Isaac Garlington picked up three consecutive blocked shots on a single possession near the four-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Tonganoxie pulled to within 11 points on a few occasions against Bonner Springs, but the Chieftains couldn't break through and cut the lead to single digits.
THS coach David Walker said too many miscues hindered the Chieftains from rallying.
"When you play a team like that you can't commit 27 turnovers," Walker said.
For the game, White finished with 16 points, 17 rebounds and 4 blocks. Hills added 18 points, 4 assists and 5 steals. LT Lee, a sophomore who made his first varsity start, added 8 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals, while senior Emmanuel McComb grabbed 9 boards of his own. For Tonganoxie, Jeff Hughes led all Chieftains with 13 points. Jordan Herron added 11 and Zeb Kissinger chipped in with six and Tyler Miles had five.
THS dropped to 0-13 overall and 0-6 in the KVL with the loss, while Bonner Springs improved to 9-5 and 5-2.
The Chieftains played at home Tuesday against Bishop Ward. Tonganoxie will have Friday off, but will travel next Tuesday to the Carbondale area for a game with Santa Fe Trail.