Erickson drops 23 as THS boys blast Atchison
Tonganoxie vs. Atchison
The Chieftains returned to the hardwood when Atchison paid a visit on Friday. The girls left with a 47-23 win, while the boys picked up a 64-33 victory.
After the Tonganoxie boys' 75-41 rout of Atchison in last week's Tonganoxie Invitational, coach Shawn Phillips was wary of a lackluster start in Friday's rematch.
The Chieftains proved otherwise, though, and they did so in a big way. Senior Dane Erickson led all scorers with 23 points and Tonganoxie cruised to a 64-33 victory over the Redmen.
"We wanted to make sure we got off to a good start," Phillips said. "We told them the last time we played had nothing to do with how the outcome of this game would be."
Any thoughts of an upset were erased almost immediately, as the Chieftains (6-6) opened the game on an 18-1 run. Erickson, who scored all but four of his points before halftime, got plenty of early looks inside during that stretch.
Atchison cut the deficit to 20-6 at the end of the period, but never mounted a serious comeback threat.
Tonganoxie maintained control in the second quarter, using three straight baskets by Erickson to go up 30-11 midway through the period.
"They had trouble matching up with Erickson in the paint, so we wanted to get the ball there," Phillips said. "That's what we need to do."
The Redmen were forced to collapse on the Chieftain forward early and often, which left other players open for several mid-range and 3-point opportunities. Junior Josh Ghale took advantage, scoring 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
"That opened everybody up for wide open shots," Erickson said. "Whenever that happens, it's nice that we're able to pass the ball around and get it where it needs to go."
The Chieftains held Atchison scoreless for the final four minutes of the half and took a 36-13 lead into the locker room.
A layup by junior John Lean made it a 30-point game midway through the third quarter. The Chieftains' advantage remained at 30 through the end of the period, which put a running clock into effect for the duration of the fourth.
Several Tonganoxie reserves saw extended minutes in the second half, and several capitalized on the opportunity. Senior Brady Waldeier scored a season-high eight points and sophomore Tyler Ford added seven.
"It's good to get other people the opportunity to play, especially our younger guys" Phillips said.
With the win, the Tonganoxie back at an even .500 on the season. The Chieftains will try to pick up their second consecutive victory when they travel to Basehor-Linwood on Tuesday.
They'll also have revenge on their minds, as they dropped a 74-38 decision to the Bobcats in their season opener on Dec. 2.
"Basehor is a good team we coming up," Erickson said. "Our plan is to go surprise them at their house."
Score by quarters
Atchison 6 7 13 7 — 33
Tonganoxie 20 16 20 8 — 64
ATCHISON — Tanner Huntington 4-8 3-4 11, Clifford Johnson 4-10 0-0 10, Chris Fox 2-5 0-0 6, Blake Dykstra 1-6 2-3 4, Ivan Cushinberry 0-2 2-4 2, Wade Gassman 0-3 0-1 0, Clayton Bratton 0-3 0-2 0.
TONGANOXIE — Dane Erickson 10-13 3-3 23, Josh Ghale 5-7 0-0 10, Brady Waldeier 4-6 0-0 8, Tyler Ford 3-5 0-0 7, John Lean 3-9 0-0 6, Dylan Jacobs 2-4 0-0 4, Colby Yates 0-2 2-2 2, Brennan Williams 0-3 2-2 2, Eric Tate 0-0 2-2 2, Eric McPherson 0-3 0-0 0.