Tough starts for Tonganoxie, McLouth basketball teams
David Hillmon’s team played with intensity Thursday in its season opener, but the Chieftains just couldn’t overcome Baldwin’s hot shooting in Hillmon’s debut as head coach.
The game was tied at 2 early in the game and the Chieftains clawed back at times. But THS just couldn’t make that final push and the Bulldogs came away with the 61-48 victory.
A 25-13 Baldwin advantage in the second quarter proved to be the factor.
Baldwin led, 14-8, after the first quarter, but the teams both scored 12 in the third and Tognanoxie had a 15-10 advantage in the fourth.
The Bulldogs at one point had a 19-point lead, but Tonganoxie scrapped and clawed its way back in the game.
Tonganoxie had chances to reduce the deficit into single digits, but every time the Chieftains would make a run, Baldwin would answer, usually with a 3-pointer. Baldwin had nine three-pointers on the night, including four from junior Jayce Dighans. He led the Bulldogs in scoring with 16, one of three BHS players in double figures.
Tonganoxie, meanwhile, handled Baldwin’s full-court pressure, but there were many times when the Chieftains couldn’t finish on close-range shots after breaking the press.
Juniors Chandler Caldwell and Mac Thompson provided some offensive firepower for Tonganoxie, as did senior Keaton Rickard, but it just wasn’t enough against BHS in the season opener.
Caldwell led THS in scoring with 18, while Thompson scored 17. Caldwell also had five rebounds and two assists, while Thompson had five rebounds and went 9-for-12 from the free-throw line. Keaton Rickard pitched in seven points in the loss.
“I was really very proud of the way our boys scrapped,” Hillmon said.
He said the team’s goal was to continue in a way that represents the community well and makes the fans proud.
Tonganoxie committed 14 turnovers to seven assists, with Mason Beach having three of those assists.
The Chieftains will continue to try to do that with a Friday game against Ottawa. The game will start after the girls game, which begins at 5:45 p.m. Friday at the THS gymnasium.
For more statistics from the boys game, go to tonganoxiemirror.com.
Slow start dooms THS girls in opener
The Tonganoxie High girls basketball team got off to a slow start in its season opener Thursday against Baldwin.
It was that early deficit that turned out to be the difference maker at the THS gymnasium.
The Bulldogs opened with an 18-1 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
The teams played closer in the remaining quarters, as Baldwin held a 29-21 advantage in those periods.
It just was too little for the Chieftains, who dropped to 0-1 on the season with the 47-22 loss.
Tonganoxie shot 27 percent from the field, but connected on almost 43 percent of its shots from beyond the arc.
Taylor Lee led the Chieftains in scoring with 13 points.
Continuing her long-range ways from last year, she made 3-of-6 three-pointers and was 2-for-3 inside the arc. She also went 4-for-8 from the free-throw line.
Also scoring for THS were Anna Soetaert with 5 and Mykah Wingerter with 4.
As a team, Tonganoxie had 15 defensive rebounds and 6 offensive rebounds for 21 total rebounds. The team also had 6 steals, but committed 31 turnovers.
Tonganoxie will look to get back on track with a 5:45 p.m. Friday home game against Ottawa.
McLouth teams fall
McLouth boys basketball loses first game of season.
The Bulldogs fell, 56-27, to Jefferson County North on Friday.
McLouth was tied with JCN, 10-10, after the first quarter, but it was all Chargers after that as JCN outscored MHS in each of the next three quarters, including a 16-4 second quarter.
The loss drops MHS to 0-1 on the season for coach Steve Lilly.
The MHS girls also had a tough start to the season against the Chargers.
Jefferson County North broke out to an 18-6 lead after the first quarter and never was threatened the rest of the game.
The Chargers led, 32-8, at intermission on the way to a 55-22 victory.