THS girls to hit road as No. 6 seed
KNOW THE FOE: Sumner girls
No. 3 seed Sumner Academy has 3 double-digit scorers:
• #24 Sameia Kendall
5-foot-8 junior PG
13.8 points, 5.5 assists, 4.8 steals and 3.9 rebounds, leads Sabres with 19 3-pointers
• #25 Kathleen Brisbane
6-foot senior C
12.8 points, 0.58 FG%, 6.8 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 2.6 assists
• #15 Alexandria Blaurock
5-9 senior SG
10.3 points, 4.2 rebounds
A flip of a coin might have given the Tonganoxie High girls basketball team a more difficult route in its upcoming Class 4A sub-state tournament.
Following a Tuesday night victory at Piper, the Chieftains had the exact same record (8-11) as Bishop Ward in the sub-state standings. The Kaw Valley League foes split their two meetings this season, so the tie-breaker was a coin flip, which the Cyclones won. With that, Ward became the No. 5 seed and THS received the No. 6 seed.
While BWHS will play at No. 4 Atchison in the first round, the Chieftains must hit the road for a 7 p.m. Tuesday game at No. 3 Sumner Academy (13-6).
Though Tonganoxie hasn’t played Sumner in a few years, coach Randy Kraft said, the Chieftains won by 18 at Atchison on Jan. 28.
“Had we won the coin flip, we would have played Atchison and obviously we played pretty well against them the first time,” Kraft said.
As the No. 6 seed, THS could potentially have to go through the top three teams — No. 1 Basehor-Linwood, No. 2 Bonner Springs and No. 3 Sumner — in the bracket in order to advance to state.
“We might have just made our road a little tougher,” Kraft said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Kraft said he had not yet watched any video of Sumner or seen the Sabres play in person. However, he noted Sumner lost both times it faced a KVL team this season (54-51 to Bonner Springs on Feb. 9 and 45-42 at Basehor-Linwood on Jan. 4).
The Chieftains might not be as familiar with Sumner as they would be with Atchison or one of the four KVL teams from the sub-state bracket, but Kraft said that wouldn’t necessarily be a disadvantage.
“Sometimes when you’re too familiar with an opponent, you take some things for granted,” the coach said. “Hopefully our kids approach it where they’re engaged in everything we’re going over.”
Kraft wasn’t overly concerned with opening sub-state on the road, either, despite Tonganoxie’s 3-5 record away from home this season.
“Sometimes on the road there’s less distractions for the kids,” he said.
In order for THS to pull off a road victory at Sumner, Kraft said his team will need consistent offensive production, adding he has been “pretty satisfied” with the team’s defense for most of the season.
“Our biggest nemesis all year has been a letdown offensively quarter to quarter,” Kraft said, citing Tuesday’s win, when Tonganoxie scored eight points apiece in the first and second quarters before putting up 20 in the third.
The coach said the Chieftains need to execute for four quarters and said a quick pace usually does the trick.
“We tend to get in a rhythm when we’re moving the ball and pushing the ball down the floor,” Kraft said.
Sumner has won five of its last six games with the one setback coming against Bonner Springs on Feb. 9.
The Chieftains have won three of their last five and their two losses — to Bonner Springs and Ward — were by a combined six points.
THS closes its regular-season schedule at 6 p.m. Friday, when it plays host to Turner.
Tuesday — Top seed plays host
No. 1 Basehor-Linwood (15-4) vs. No. 8 Jeff West (3-17)
No. 4 Atchison (9-10) vs. No. 5 Bishop Ward (8-11)
No. 2 Bonner Springs (13-5) vs. No. 7 Piper (5-13)
No. 3 Sumner Academy (13-6) vs. No. 6 Tonganoxie (8-11)
Friday — At Piper
Basehor-Linwood/Jeff West vs. Atchison/Bishop Ward
Bonner Springs/Piper vs. Sumner/Tonganoxie
Saturday — At Piper
Sub-state final tips at 6 p.m.