Jeff West outlasts Tonganoxie girls
The Tonganoxie High girls entered their home invitational with a goal of two victories. A win in the consolation semifinals put them in position to make that happen, but they couldn’t replicate that success in Saturday’s finale.
THS committed 18 turnovers and couldn’t overcome a 26.5-percent shooting performance in a 42-29 loss to Jeff West in the fifth-place game of the 12th annual girls tournament.
Two days removed from a season-high scoring output against Atchison, the Chieftains (2-9) came out flat and allowed the Tigers to jump out to a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes. They didn’t get on the scoreboard until a pair of free throws by Taylor Lee midway through the period, and they didn’t hit a field goal until a Tressa Walker jump shot with 48 seconds left.
“We started out and we didn’t execute our stuff,” coach David Hall said. “We didn’t really get to the post, and that was disappointing.”
Hall’s squad hung around in the second half, drawing within six points on a 3-pointer by Kaitlin Hall with 3:40 left until halftime. Jeff West had an answer, however, closing out the quarter on a 9-2 run to take a 25-12 halftime lead. Faith Becker, who led the Tigers with 10 points, closed out the half with six straight points, including a conventional 3-point play in the final seconds.
Sarah Ahart opened second-half scoring with two points in the paint, but the Chieftains again went cold, allowing Jeff West to pull away for good. The Tigers extended their lead to 20 late in the third quarter before the Chieftains scored again.
Ahart got going in the final period, scoring six of her team-high 10 points. She also led THS with nine rebounds in the loss.
“In the second half, we got it to the high post and created some dribble drives for ourselves,” David Hall said. “You’ve got to attack on the dribble, and I think we did that in the second half.”
It was an up-and-down tournament for the Chieftains, who managed just nine points against eventual tournament champion Wamego in Tuesday’s opening round. They bounced back in the consolation round, handing Atchison a 46-38 defeat to set up Saturday’s fifth-place meeting with JWHS.
“Wamego is a good team, but I’ll take our girls any day of the week,” David Hall said. “They’re a bunch of sponges trying to soak up all the stuff we’re telling them. To bounce back after that Wamego game, that’s a good win.”
Wamego went on to defeat Chanute in a tournament championship game that featured two teams currently ranked in the top 10 in Class 4A-I. Following the title game, Red Raider senior Lanie Page was named the most valuable player. Fellow senior Allison Seufert was named the most inspirational player. No THS players were named to this year’s all-tournament team.
Tonganoxie travled Tuesday to Olathe for a non-league meeting with Heritage Christian before resuming its Kaw Valley League schedule Friday at home against Bishop Ward.
THS downs Atchison
The THS girls experienced a roller coaster of a game Thursday against Atchison in a consolation bracket game in the Tonganoxie Invitational.
When the wild ride concluded, though, the Chieftains had another victory in the win column.
THS won, 46-38, but not before seeing a 14-point lead reduced to three points.
Tonganoxie scored the first 12 points of the game and led 14-2 heading into the second quarter. AHS didn’t score until the 1:08 mark of the first quarter.
But Atchison made a run in the second quarter, going on a 9-0 run of its own and making the game much more interesting.
AHS trailed, 16-11, at that point. THS snagged a couple baskets late in the second quarter and took a 20-13 lead into the locker room.
Then came the second half, when Atchison stormed back and at one point trailed, 35-32. But the visitors would never quite get over the hump.
The Chieftains built their lead back up to double digits, 44-32, and held on for the victory in a game they never trailed.
Jeff West 42, THS 29
Score by quarters
JWHS 12 13 11 6 – 42
THS 4 8 5 12 – 29
JWHS: Faith Becker 4-7 1-1 10, Madelyn Broxterman 3-4 0-0 6, Taylor Metzger 2-5 1-1 6, Danielle Slimmer 2-5 0-0 6, Olivia Brees 3-9 0-0 6, Jordan Biggs 2-4 0-0 4, Alyssa Garza 1-2 0-1 2, Mariah Murdie 1-4 0-0 2; THS: Sarah Ahart 4-10 2-4 10, Tressa Walker 3-7 2-3 9, Taylor Lee 0-5 5-6 5, Kaitlin Hall 1-6 0-0 3, Sophia Breedlove 1-5 0-0 2.
— Shawn Linenberger contributed to this story.