Tonganoxie girls hold on to defeat Bishop Ward
Kansas City, Kan. On two separate occasions, the Tonganoxie girls watched a big lead disappear against Bishop Ward.
On two separate occasions, they had an answer.
Sophomore Emma Stilgenbauer scored 16 points, including a 5-of-6 shooting effort from the floor, and the Chieftains held on for a 50-46 win over the Cyclones at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
“I was extremely proud of the kids tonight,” coach Randy Kraft said. “Tonight, they battled back from it and took the lead. A lot of good things happened out there that we hadn’t seen from them last year.”
Offensively, the Chieftains (1-1) wasted little time finding their groove. They sunk their first four shot attempts and raced out to an 18-12 lead at the end of the opening period.
Bishop Ward shook its poor start and pieced together a 9-3 run to go up 21-20 midway through the second quarter. However, Tonganoxie got into another rhythm and closed out the half on an 11-2 scoring burst.
As a team, the Chieftains shot 48 percent in the first half, compared to a 28 percent effort by Bishop Ward.
Junior Jenny Whitledge, who finished with nine points, connected on her first three shot attempts to spark Tonganoxie’s hot start.
“I would love to say that we never know on a given night and it’s really balanced,” Kraft said. “I love that kind of basketball. Tonight, it seemed that way. I think everybody contributed and I hope that continues.”
Just like they did in the second quarter, the Cyclones came charging back after intermission. Led by Hanna Barnhart and Taylor Williams, who combined for 33 points, Bishop Ward erased the deficit and went up 43-39 midway through the fourth quarter.
Once again, though, Tonganoxie had an answer. Williams got into foul trouble and the Chieftains ended the game on an 11-3 run to seal the victory.
“Our biggest thing tonight was to make somebody else beat us,” Kraft said. “I think that showed up at the end.”
Tonganoxie will look for its second straight when when it heads to Anderson County on Friday.