Chieftains struggle in first game back from holidays
The Tonganoxie High boys basketball team has struggled to put two good halves together this season.
The trend continued Friday night in a 50-37 home loss against Bonner Springs.
"We gave them the ball too many times early," THS coach David Walker said. "We made some adjustments at halftime. The second half, I thought we turned some things around. Scoring-wise, we beat them the second half. The kids did a really good job of not quitting and giving up."
Tonganoxie outscored Bonner Springs, 27-20, in the last two quarters. Unfortunately for THS, it dug itself in too deep of a hole in the first two
Bonner Springs applied a full-court, man-to-man press the entire game.
"It was our pressure," Bonner Springs coach Ryan Hull said about the deciding factor of Friday's game. "We work with a lot of quickness. We have to."
The Braves don't possess many players who have played basketball for the majority of their lives. In fact, most BSHS players who log basketball minutes are football players. They utilize their raw athletic abilities.
There won't be too many teams faster to the ball than Bonner Springs. The Braves might not be the most fundamentally sound team in the Kaw Valley League, but they'll never get winded running up and down the floor at a rapid pace. It was evident most players were in shape from football season.
"Their quickness bothered us," Walker said. "We had a difficult time getting the ball down the court and getting into our offense. Any time a defense disrupts your rhythm and getting into your offense, it makes things tough."
Bonner Springs scored the first nine points of the game. Tonganoxie didn't score until sophomore Keaton Schaffer hit a pair of free throws with 3:42 remaining in the first quarter.
The Braves continued to build on their lead and took a 30-10 advantage into the half.
Tonganoxie gave its fans a ray of hope when it started the second half with a 9-0 run. The Chieftains held the Braves scoreless for the first five minutes of the third quarter.
"Any time you score, it's going to slow a team down from getting down the floor," Walker said. "We didn't give them easy ones. The first half, we were giving them turnovers out front, which gave them the opportunity to get in the open floor; and they're very good in the open floor."
Bonner Springs closed the door on Tonganoxie with a 6-0 run to end the third quarter. The Braves led, 36-19 after three quarters.
Tonganoxie had its biggest scoring quarter in the fourth with 18 points, but it was too late to pose a serious threat to Bonner Springs, which scored 14 in the final quarter.
Freshman guard Jeremy Carlisle injured his knee in the second quarter. Carlisle came out of the game and did not return. His right knee was wrapped in ice as he sat on the bench for the second half.
Walker said Carlisle visited the doctor Tuesday afternoon for an MRI.
Tonganoxie returned to action Tuesday night at home against Perry-Lecompton, but the game ran past The Mirror's press time. THS will play next at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mill Valley.