THS takes Rossville tourney title
Tonganoxie knocked off two perennial powers Saturday on the way to the Chieftains' first Rossville Tournament title under coaches Tiffany and Brandon Parker.
THS defeated Holton in the semifinals before facing Towanda-Circle in the championship match.
The Chieftains defeated the Thunderbirds in two games, 25-19, 25-23. Towanda-Circle was ranked No. 3 in Class 3A heading into the tournament.
"Every year they go to state and are usually in the top four," co-coach Tiffany Parker said about Towanda-Circle. "It was a big test for us. We played extremely well against them."
In pool play, Tonganoxie was assigned to a pool that had just two other teams -- Rossville and Emporia. The Chieftains played those teams twice, defeating Rossville both times and splitting with Emporia.
Rossville finished third in Class 3A at the state tournament last season.
"They lost some really good players last year, so they're kind of rebuilding this year," Parker said. "They still have some girls who are very good."
In bracket play, Tonganoxie opened with a win against Royal Valley before defeating Holton and Circle.
"This was a lot of fun because everyone played well together and everybody did their job," Parker said. "So that's what made it fun."
The fifth-year coach said the only match that the team didn't perform as well came in that lone loss to Emporia.
"The match that we lost to them was another case of mental errors," Parker said. "Service errors. Blocking errors, things that we can fix. During the match, we didn't take care of those little things."
Tonganoxie improved to 11-2 after winning the tournament. THS played Perry-Lecompton and Piper on Tuesday at home and will compete in its home invitational Saturday.
The tournament traditionally attracts high-quality teams from classes 6A through 4A, including Manhattan, Olathe East, Great Bend and Eudora.
"I don't know what those 6A teams are like," Parker said. "I don't know how Manhattan or Olathe East are, but they're usually pretty good.
"And Eudora, the rivalry between us is big. You never know."
The last three years, Eudora and Tonganoxie have met in 4A substate action, with Tonganoxie winning in the 2003 semifinals and Eudora winning in the finals the last two years.
The tournament will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at Tonganoxie junior and senior high schools.
Chieftains go 2-1 at CHHS
Paola handed Tonganoxie its first loss, of the season, but the Panthers needed three games to defeat the Chieftains Sept. 12 at Central Heights near Richmond.
Paola won the first game, 25-22, but Tonganoxie responded with a 25-23 win in the second game. Paola, however, cruised in the deciding game for a 25-18 victory.
"I thought we played pretty well," THS co-coach Tiffany Parker said. "We just had some mental breakdowns during the Paola match.
"In the first game, we had five to 10 mental mistakes that kind of cost us the match."
Tonganoxie, though, was dominant in its other two matches. THS defeated Central Heights, 25-10, 25-9, and De Soto, 25-12, 25-16.
Parker would have preferred a victory against Paola, but she said the team still is adjusting to new offensive and defensive strategies coaches are working to incorporate.
"We were trying to get the girls to do a lot of new defensive schemes and new offensive things they're not completely comfortable with," Parker said. "Just some hesitation cost us a few points.
"By the end of the season, it will help. I can handle a growing-pain loss rather than a sub-state loss."
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