Consolation semis unkind to THS
It seemed like a short amount of time: two minutes.
The Tonganoxie High boys basketball team wishes it had them back after Thursday's 49-42 loss to Silver Lake in the Tonganoxie Invitational consolation semifinals.
"It's a 32-minute game and I would say that 30 of the 32 minutes, we played really well," THS coach David Walker said. "There was a short stretch in the third quarter where we let them get three rebounds and put-backs, and that comes down to the ballgame. It's a hard lesson to learn sometimes. It's those two minutes that can cost you the game."
Silver Lake took its biggest lead - nine - after the 6-0 run.
The Eagles kept their lead in the fourth quarter by converting free throws and not committing turnovers. SLHS guard Quin Bruce stepped up Thursday with a team-high 14 points. Silver Lake's typical leading scorer, Marshall Wetta, was held in check with seven points. He fouled out of the game.
Sophomore forward Keaton Schaffer led Tonganoxie with 17 points and six rebounds. Senior forward Gabe Belobrajdic added 10.
Schaffer showed poise Thursday, particularly for a sophomore. During one instance in the fourth quarter, Schaffer drove the lane for a layup, but Silver Lake's Dustin Campbell, who trailed the play, glided through the air and emphatically rejected the sophomore's shot.
Campbell let Schaffer know about it. He announced his presence by briefly yelling, then told Schaffer, "How do you like that?" The referee called a technical foul on Campbell immediately after the play.
Schaffer didn't say anything. He went to the foul line, drained both free throws and cut the Silver Lake lead to 36-32 with 6:29 left in the game.
"We've instructed them if they get talked back to or somebody wants to trash talk, we just move on and play our game," Walker said. "A kid can easily get caught up in those things. (Schaffer) understands that there are going to be players that are going to try to intimidate him a little bit, but he's used to that. He made an adult decision by not saying anything."
It was evident Silver Lake coach Tim Beikman wasn't exactly pleased from the sidelines. He sat Campbell on the bench immediately after the technical foul.
"These kids play with a lot of emotion," Beikman said. "Sometimes, it's too much."
Before Thursday's game, Silver Lake had lost its share of close games - Riley County by one and Eudora by three. Beikman said the win vastly improved the Eagles' confidence level.
"We've had those games where we fought back and came up a little bit short," Beikman said. "These guys saw tonight that when the going gets tough, they realize we can be on the other end of that. We can finish. We can be successful and not lose those games."
Silver Lake will face Eudora in the consolation championship game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the THS gymnasium.
The Chieftains dropped to 2-9 on the season. THS will face Jeff West in the seventh-place game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the west campus gymnasium.
"Our focus is going to be we're playing another basketball game," Walker said. "We're not going to focus on seventh, fifth, third, whatever. At this point, we're going to focus on continuing to play hard and that hard work paying off for us."
Scoring by quarter:
Silver Lake 13 8 15 13 - 49
Tonganoxie 11 10 6 15 - 42
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