Four local basketball players have THS homecoming
Addie Heim's homecoming was enjoyable, but the University of Saint Mary's women's basketball player has a request for the next time she plays a scrimmage at Tonganoxie High School.
"I have to say I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get to play in the new gym," said Heim, a THS alum and junior for St. Mary. "The year I left (2005) is the year they fixed it up. Maybe next year."
Tonganoxie High School was the site where four schools -- St. Mary, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Highland Community College and Benedictine College -- recently scrimmaged.
The Tonganoxie Recreation Commission organized the scrimmage, which took place on Oct. 29. TRC director Gayle Parker estimated that 40 people showed up in each gymnasium.
"We put on this event for the community," Parker said. "We asked for canned goods from everyone who came as well."
The TRC kept a running clock for two, 20-minute halves.
Heim led St. Mary in scoring against KCKCC with 10 points. St. Mary's lost the scrimmage, 50-29.
St. Mary defeated Highland, 42-14. Heim scored six points and had three assists.
Heim started every game for St. Mary's as a sophomore and will be relied on as one of the Spires primary scorers, according to coach Michael Basler.
"It's a big responsibility," Heim said. "I just think of it as an honor. I just want to be able to do my best and pull my teammates up to be the best they can be."
Heim said her style of play is reminiscent of players who like to slash and drive to the basket. She's plays small and power forward.
She also put an emphasis on the defensive end -- something Heim said she learned at Tonganoxie.
"I like to hit the rebounds as much as I can," Heim said. "I also like playing post defense. (Tonganoxie girls basketball coach Randy) Kraft was big on defense, so I have to mention that. It's stuck with me."
As a member of the Chieftains, Heim advanced to the Class 4A state tournament in 2005. THS finished fourth that year.
Freshman Aimee Ostermeyer made the trip with St. Mary, but didn't log any minutes in the scrimmage. Ostermeyer is one of the Spires' managers for now and said she would have a chance to suit up after New Year's Day.
Ostermeyer, who stands 5-11, said her primary emphasis on the floor is on the defensive end.
"I like to work hard and get those steals," Ostermeyer said. "Coach Kraft's main philosophy was defense. If we weren't getting after it, it was on the line and let's run. It was hard, but we wanted to be good, so you do whatever it takes to get there. There was some message to his madness."
Ostermeyer was a senior on the 2006-07 THS basketball team that finished fourth at state.
Heim and Ostermeyer frequently remind their teammates where they're from.
"We always show up together with red Tonganoxie T-shirts," Heim said. "We have to support our hometown. We stick together on that."
KCKCC sophomore Kelley Stauch, another THS alum, also participated in the scrimmage. Stauch transferred from Fort Scott Community College the second semester of last year, but didn't play.
Stauch dislocated her collarbone during one of her first days of practice at KCKCC last year. She occasionally feels lingering effects, but not when she's on the court.
"As a player, I'm too competitive to even worry about it," Stauch said. "As soon as I'm on the court, I'm all about getting the ball back. I don't even think about it. Sometimes after the game, everything comes back and I think, 'How did this happen?'"
Benedictine sophomore Courtney Edwards, a McLouth High alum, also played in the scrimmage. Edwards started all 32 games for Benedictine and averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last year.