Homestretch full of home games for Tonganoxie hoops
Fresh off a four-game road stretch, the last two of which ended in defeat, the Tonganoxie High boys basketball team is looking forward to some home cooking for the rest of February.
“We’ve got to finish strong. We’ve got five of six at home coming up,” junior forward Brandon Yoder said after the Chieftains lost Friday at Perry-Lecompton.
It is a fortuitous situation for THS after spending the bulk of its schedule to this point on the road.
Nine of Tonganoxie’s first 14 games were away and three of their five home matchups came during the Tonganoxie Invitational in January.
The team is 4-1 in its home contests this season, which, sophomore guard Jeremy Carlisle said, has THS feeling confident.
“We feel like we can’t be beat at home,” the point guard said. “It’s going to be a good stretch for us.”
After splitting their last four road games, THS coach Shawn Phillips said the past two weeks were just a portion of a tough part of the schedule in January.
“We’re never happy to be just 2-2 but its really been a six-game stretch — our last six games that we’ve played, five of those games have been against teams that either were ranked when we played them or have been ranked at some point,” Phillips said. “That’s a pretty rough stretch to go through.”
Tonganoxie was 3-3 in that period.
“It could have been a whole lot worse,” Phillips said.
The Chieftains have gone 4-5 in road games this season but, Yoder said, the team remains confident after losing two straight, something the team hadn’t done since its first two games of the season at the Paola Invitational.
“We’ll fight back,” Yoder said.
Echoing that line of thought, Carlisle said a few road bumps won’t wreck Tonganoxie’s season.
“I have all the confidence in the world in my team,” Carlisle said. “Anyone who gets the ball, I’m sure they’re gonna score or draw a foul or do something good.”
Except for a Feb. 17 game at Lansing, the Chieftains will be getting those chances in their gym.
“We’re just excited to get back home and play in front of our own fans,” Carlisle said.
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