Pirates rough up Chieftain boys in rout of Tonganoxie
Length, athleticism and confidence. Those were just a few of the issues the Tonganoxie high boys basketball team faced on Friday night. All three were apparent in the first quarter, where Tonganoxie didn’t score until junior Mac Thompson hit a layup as time expired in the quarter.
However, Tonganoxie (0-3, 0-1) was never able to overcome an 18-point deficit after the first quarter, suffered a 56-23 setback to Piper at home. Thompson led the Chieftains with six points, while juniors Mason Beach and Chandler Caldwell each added five points.
With a relatively new team, the Chieftains have struggled to find their footing to begin games.
“It’s been the same thing just different game as far as that (slow starts) goes,” coach David Hillmon said. “We’re facing some senior laden squads, and we’ve got one returning starter. We’ve got a lot of guys in positions they’ve never been in before, and they’re doing it against the top teams in the state.”
The Chieftains only had 13 turnovers on the night, but seven of those came in the nightmare first quarter where they shot just 1-of-9 from the field and struggled with the Pirates’ length and athleticism. The Chieftains competed much better in the remaining three quarters, but they were never able to find consistent offense.
The Chieftains handled the zone well, but struggled to make shots, and struggled to create shooting opportunities against the Pirates’ man-to-man defense.
“I told the guys at the end that we’ve got to trust the process,” Hillmon said. “We can’t all the sudden deviate and decide what we’re doing isn’t working. That’s not how success is built.”
However, the schedule won’t get any easier for THS. Tonganoxie will have two weeks of practice over Christmas break before traveling to Eudora at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3. After that, Tonganoxie will travel to Bashor-Linwood and Bonner Springs for its next two games.
“We’re going to fail, correct and make adjustments,” Hillmon said. “Hopefully, come mid-February we’re doing some nice things and people really don’t want to play us. That’s been my vision all along.“
Piper 56, THS 23
Score by quarters
Tonganoxie 2 7 8 6 — 23
Piper 20 16 8 12 — 56
Tonganoxie — Mac Thompson 6 Chandler Caldwell 5, Mason Beach 5, Dakota Grey 2, Isaiah Frese 3, Cody Reynolds 2.
Piper — Jordan Goodpastor 13, JJ Letcher 7, Jalen Taylor 5, Bryant Rogers 4, Daviance Covington 9, Bryce Yoder 3, Terrell Hall 4, Dezmon Greer 3, Eli Johnson 6, Micaiah Noel 2.