Is third time the charm for Chieftains?
In Tonganoxie's first two meetings with Bonner Springs, the Chieftains left the court in defeat. If they want their season to live through the weekend, they can't let history repeat itself.
THS (16-6) will get a third shot at the Braves (21-1) in Saturday's sub-state championship game in the BSHS gymnasium. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. The winner will earn a spot in next week's Class 4A state tournament in Salina.
Powered by a hot start, Bonner Springs rolled to a 48-32 victory on Jan. 3 in Tonganoxie. The Chieftains fell into a 16-7 hole after the first quarter and never recovered. Bonner Springs junior Anna Deegan led all scorers with 15 points, while THS junior Jenny Whitledge paced THS with 14.
The Chieftains took a trip Feb. 17 to BSHS, and they kept things much closer in the rematch. Three THS players reached double figures, but couldn't quite get over the hump in a 60-55 loss. Sophomore Emma Stilgenbauer led the red and white with 18 points, while senior Amanda Holroyd and Whitledge added 13 and 12, respectively. Deegan and senior Yessenia Hernandez gave the Chieftain defense fits, as the duo combined for 41 points.
Tonganoxie started its road to the finals Tuesday with a 53-36 victory against Jeff West. Whitledge led the way with 14 points. The Chieftains returned to the hardwood Thursday and pulled away late for a 48-38 victory against Hayden. Whitledge scored 17 and junior Hannah Kemp added 12.
Bonner Springs' journey began with Monday's 58-21 drubbing of Perry-Lecompton. Deegan erupted for 27 points in the quarterfinal victory. The Braves' offense wasn't as potent in Thursday's semifinal against Piper, but BSHS held on for a 38-25 win. Once again, Deegan led the way — this time with 15 points.