After strong start, THS boys stumble vs. Lions
Lansing For eight minutes, Tonganoxie matched Class 5A Lansing shot-for-shot. After that, though, the Lions showed why they're among the state's elite programs.
The Chieftains battled their Kaw Valley League foe to a 14-14 tie after one quarter, but third-ranked LHS used a dominant second quarter to take control and coasted to a 59-46 victory on Tuesday.
Jack Dale briefly gave THS (7-6, 3-4 KVL) a two-point lead when he opened the second quarter with a layup, but after that, it was all Lansing for the rest of the half. The Lions (12-1, 6-1) closed out the period on a 19-2 run, giving themselves a 33-18 lead at the break.
Coach Shawn Phillips' squad came up empty on several scoring chances, missing layups and short-range jump shots in the final minutes of the half.
"We've got to make two-foot shots," Phillips said. "I don't know how many two-footers that we missed in that stretch, but when we can't make our opportunities that are fairly close, that's never an opportunity for success."
THS hung tough in the second half and cut the deficit to 10 points on multiple occasions, but never got within single digits as it suffered its first road loss of the season. The team entered the game with a 4-0 mark away from its home court.
Dale led the Chieftains with 16 points, while Eric Tate and John Lean each had nine. Khalil Bailey paced Lansing with a game-high 18 points.
The road won't soon get any easier for THS, which will travel Friday to Mill Valley. The Jaguars picked up a 68-64 win Tuesday against Piper, forcing a tie with Lansing for first place in the KVL. Updated league standings can be found here.
"We've got to play strong," Phillips said. "Mill Valley is an extremely long and athletic team. They like to pressure, and those are matchups that are tough for us because we're not exceptionally long. We've got to be tough."
Score by quarters
Tonganoxie 14 4 11 17 — 46
Lansing 14 19 10 16 — 59
TONGANOXIE — Jack Dale 6-10 3-3 16, Eric Tate 4-9 0-0 9, John Lean 1-9 7-8 9, Ben Johnson 2-5 1-1 5, Tyler Ford 1-6 1-1 3, Blair Mathisen 1-1 0-0 2, Eric McPherson 1-2 0-0 2.
LANSING — Khalil Bailey 7-13 4-8 18, Joe Schneider 5-6 2-2 15, Donte Gibson 5-9 1-1 11, Roy Clayter 3-6 0-0 6, Clay Young 2-7 1-1 5, Lucas Mein 1-6 0-0 3, Joe Henry 0-1 1-2 1.