Recent record falls as Tonganoxie High girls breeze past Bishop Ward
Tonganoxie With time winding down in the third quarter, junior Taylor Lee had to rush a three-point attempt to get it off before the buzzer. The shot was nothing but net, and Lee, who looked over to her bench in shock, was perhaps the only person in the gym surprised the shot went in.
Lee went 6-of-7 from beyond the arc, and in the process, broke senior Kaitlin Hall’s school record for three-pointers made in a game (five), which she set Thursday night against Kansas City Wyandotte.
Behind Lee’s 31 points and 19 points from Hall, as well as 9-of-20 shooting from beyond the arc, the Tonganoxie Lady Chieftains were able to send their seniors out with a 66-24 win over the Bishop Ward Cyclones. The win improved the Chieftains to 6-14 on the season.
Lee already has the Tonganoxie record for made three-pointers in a season with 46 this year, and according to Frost, she made just one three-pointer her entire sophomore season. With Hall making shots too, they have broken the record for made three-pointers as a team as well with 89 this season.
“Between her (Lee) and Kaitlin (Hall), we’re destroying the three-point season record,” head coach Matt Frost said. “Between the two of them, we shoot a lot of threes. Fortunately we make a lot of them too. The whole team knows they have the green light if they’re open."
In the first quarter, Hall carried a lot of the offensive load without Lee for most of the period, since all five of the Chieftains’ seniors started on senior night. However, turnovers kept them from building any sort of lead.
But the Chieftains’ pressure defense didn’t allow the Cyclones to find a rhythm. Their only offense came after offensive rebounds, and the Chieftains led 11-4 after one quarter.
The Chieftains started the second quarter by going on a 12-2 spurt to take a 23-6 lead. But with some pressure defense, the Cyclones were able to end the half on a 14-7 run to pull within 30-20 heading into the locker room. Lee helped keep the Cyclones at bay during that run with two made three-pointers.
“We were just throwing the ball all over the place,” Frost said. “They were running four people all over the place. Everybody was running away from the ball. We were just making it too hard."
But in the second half, Chieftains had perhaps their most dominating performance of the season. They outscored the Cyclones, 36-4, and they were able to do whatever they wanted on both sides of the ball.
Lee and Hall dominated on the offensive end, scoring 28 of the Chieftains’ 36 second half points.
On defense, Tonganoxie was able to create turnovers with a full court pressure, with some half-court pressure and traps mixed in. In fact, the Cyclones had only scored one basket in the second half until the last minute of the game when the Chieftains effort on defense dropped with the contest well in hand.
“All season we’ve had a tendency … sometimes we’re too nice,” Frost said. “Sometimes, it just takes them going on a run at the end of the first half to decide ‘let’s just take the ball from them.'”
Tonganoxie will host Atchison, which is 8-12 this season, in the first round of a Class 4A Division I on Thursday. At No. 3, THS actually is the lower seed to No. 2 Atchison,
“I feel good about where we’re at,” Frost said. "We just need to make shots. We take a lot of three-pointers, and going into the season that wasn’t my game plan. But that’s how it worked out."
THS 66, Ward 24
Score by quarters
THS 11 18 24 12 — 66
Ward 2 17 2 2 — 24
Individual THS scoring
Taylor Lee 31, Kaitlin Hall 19, Mackenzie Price 6, Lauren Wilson 5, Lauren Jackson 3, Cheyenne Ford 2.