Chieftain girls survive at Lansing, end three-game skid
Lansing It was hardly the best looking performance of the season, but when the Tonganoxie High girls left the court Tuesday at Lansing, they did so with their recent losing streak in the rear view mirror.
Powered by Hannah Kemp's 12 points, the Chieftains ended a three-game skid with a 36-32 win against the Lions. They made just three second-half field goals and scored their lowest point total of the season, but forced 21 turnovers on defense to get back in the win column for the first time since Jan. 15.
"A win is a win. Sometimes, you've got to learn how to win ugly," coach Randy Kraft said. "We were 0-3 going into this game. I told them to forget what we did in the first part of the season. We had to get off the slide, so it was huge to come in here and get a win."
THS (9-4, 6-1 Kaw Valley League) was without the services of leading scorer and rebounder Jenny Whitledge, who was out with the flu. Whitledge's absence wasn't noticeable early, as the Chieftains used an 11-2 first-quarter run to take a 12-6 lead.
The offensive production came to a screeching halt in the second quarter, though, as THS managed just seven more points before the break. The Lions (1-12, 1-6) failed to take advantage of the offensive lag, allowing Kraft's squad to take a 19-15 lead into the break.
Points were even harder to come by after intermission, as went just 3-of-13 in the final two quarters. Following a basket by Katelyn Waldeier in the opening minute of the third quarter, THS didn't connect on another field goal attempt until a jumper by Kemp midway through the fourth. Lansing capitalized this time, forcing a 24-24 tie at the start of the final period.
A 9-0 run to open the fourth quarter seemingly had the Chieftains on the way to a comfortable win. However, an 8-1 burst by the Lions made it a two-point game with 44 seconds remaining. Waldeier and Madee Walker each hit a free throw to push the lead back to two possessions, and the THS defense forced a turnover with nine seconds left to extinguish the comeback attempt.
The Chieftains will travel Friday to Shawnee for their first meeting with league frontrunner Mill Valley. The Jaguars picked up their ninth straight win and improved to 7-0 in KVL play Tuesday with a 49-28 victory against Piper. Updated league standings are available here.
"Not only are they a good team, I think they're a great team," Kraft said. "They've proven that throughout the year. They've beaten some really tough schools, and they should. It will be a really tough challenge for us."
Score by quarters
Tonganoxie 12 7 5 12 — 36
Lansing 6 9 9 8 — 32
TONGANOXIE — Hannah Kemp 4-11 3-6 12, Katelyn Waldeier 2-3 3-6 7, Emily Soetaert 3-11 0-0 6, Sarah Ahart 1-6 4-6 6, Madee Walker 1-4 2-7 4, Kara Banks 0-3 1-2 1.
LANSING — Jasmine Meyer 2-6 0-2 6, Mikayla Zielinski 2-6 0-0 6, Morgan Bromell 2-4 0-0 5, Madelyn Moya 2-5 1-2 5, Jordan Counts 2-2 0-0 4, Carly Bohannon 2-3 0-0 4, Danielle Pendergraft 1-4 0-0 2.