Slow start dooms THS girls
A slow-motion start by the Tonganoxie High girls basketball team was too much to overcome Monday night at the Paola Invitational.
The Chieftains were down 21 points at halftime in their season opener and lost to Highland Park, 57-45.
THS coach Randy Kraft said the Chieftains simply didn’t match the intensity of Highland Park (1-1) in the first 16 minutes.
“We weren’t very aggressive,” Kraft said. “It was their (Highland Park’s) second game and when they came out we were a little shellshocked and didn’t compete very hard the first half.”
However, the Chieftains proved they were no pushovers in the second half, outscoring HPHS, 32-23, while playing with some speed.
“It was a team effort,” Kraft said of the second-half recuperation. “Our defense got a lot more aggressive. Offensively, we were more aggressive pushing the ball and getting into our stuff.”
Although Tonganoxie shot just 31 percent from the floor (14-for-45), the team was better behind the arc, cashing seven of 16 three-pointers.
Senior guard Lauren Hall led the long-range barrage, hitting four threes on the way to a team-best 17 points.
Sophomore Tavia Brown scored 10 points in her THS debut, senior Andie Jeannin had six and Danielle Miller and Jenny Whitledge finished with four points apiece.
Kraft was pleased that the Chieftains felt comfortable and played faster, with more assertiveness, down the stretch.
“The second half we actually started playing and competing,” the coach said. “We’ve got to build on that and hopefully come out and play four quarters of that.”
The Chieftains (0-1) play either Blue Valley Northwest or K.C. Ward at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Paola.
Score by quarters
HP 12 22 13 10 — 57
THS 7 6 17 15 — 45
Lauren Hall 17, Andie Jeannin 6, Tavia Brown 10, Danielle Miller 4, Jenny Whitledge 4, Hannah Kemp 3, Lindsey Fatherley 1.