Tonganoxie girls fall to Lansing depsite 20 points from Lee
Lansing With about 4:30 remaining in the third quarter and the Tonganoxie High girls basketball team down 43-15, it didn’t seem like things could get much worse.
But after the Lansing Lions threw up an air ball from beyond the arc, the shot deflected off Chieftain junior Mackenzie Price and went straight into the basket.
From there, it seemed as thought the Lions might blow the game open, but during the final 12 minutes, the Chieftains outscored them 24-14.
A strong finish — along with 20 points from junior Taylor Lee — were not enough to knock off the Lions, though.
The Lions handled the Chieftains, 59-39, dropping the Chieftains to 3-13 on the season.
Lee shot 5-of-9 from the field, but the rest of the Chieftains shot just 6-of-20.
“We knew they were going to scramble,” THS coach Matt Frost said of Lansing’s pressure defense. We just didn’t do what we were supposed to do. We had almost as many turnovers as field goal attempts in the first half.”
In the first half, Lee was the only source of offense for the Chieftains. After a three-pointer from Lansing that opened the game, Lee responded with a three of her own to tie the game at three. But Lansing responded with a 10-0 run that put Tonganoxie in an early 13-3 hole.
After a timeout by Frost, Lee buried a three-pointer that pulled the Chieftains within 13-6, but the Lions responded with five quick points and took an 18-6 lead. After another bucket from Lee, the Chieftains trailed just 18-8 despite six turnovers.
But in the second quarter, Lee missed her only shot attempt, and that’s when the game got away from the Chieftains. They failed to make a shot from the floor the entire quarter, and didn’t score until sophomore Lauren Wilson hit a free throw with just 1:32 remaining in the quarter.
Before the Chieftains got their first point, the Lions went on a 14-0 run that opened up a 32-8 lead, which ended up being 32-10 at halftime.
Like most of the season, turnovers were a major problem for the Chieftains. They had 23 turnovers on the night against the Lion’s pressure.
Although they still had 10 turnovers in the second half, the Chieftains handled the Lions' pressure much better in the second half. Frost said that they finally started dribbling straight at the pressure instead diagonal or backwards, which led to them getting more shots at the rim. The Chieftains were just 4-of-17 from two-point range, but made up for it by shooting 7-of-12 from beyond the arc.
“The first half was more of ‘we’re scared’ and they tipped everything,” Frost said. “A lot of the turnovers in the second half were trying to make a play going to the basket.”
Frost admitted that the beginning of his team’s run was against junior varsity players in the third quarter, but in the fourth quarter Lansing started with its varsity players.
“In my head, I’m thinking, ‘this is what I wanted to see,” Frost said. “Because I wanted to see if we really did make some adjustments at halftime and if we really are playing harder. I thought we played a lot better in the fourth quarter against their varsity players.”
Tonganoxie will look to bounce back Friday against Turner with a return to the Chieftains' home court. It also will be Band Senior Night.