Tonganoxie Same road, new year.
The Tonganoxie High girls basketball team defeated Jefferson West, 64-45, Friday in the Tonganoxie Invitational semifinals. The victory advances the Chieftains to today's championship game against Silver Lake - Tongie's foe in last year's finals.
Last season, Tonganoxie also defeated Jeff West in the tourney semifinals after defeating Atchison in the first round. Atchison, coincidentally, was Tonganoxie's first-round victim last season.
On Friday, Tonganoxie didn't score its first basket until the 5:55 mark of the first quarter. After that, though, the Chieftain offense clicked. THS went on a 7-0 run and ended the first quarter with a 19-5 lead.
Tonganoxie pulled away for the 19-point victory, continuing a string of recent routs - in their previous three wins, the Chieftains won by 30 or more.
Overall, THS coach Randy Kraft liked his team's performance against the Tigers.
"During the second quarter, we had a few mistakes on offense, and we had some bad fouls on our part," Kraft said.
The Chieftains overcame that lapse as Tonganoxie scored several transition points against the Tigers. Transition was an aspect of the game Kraft said was key for Tonganoxie.
Junior Rachel Bogard paced THS with a career-high 22 points, while Ali Pistora also was in double figures with 10.
"We came out with intensity, but it took a little while for us to kick it in," Bogard said.
Tonganoxie's victory Friday, the Chieftains' third straight against Jeff West, set up today's championship rematch with Silver Lake.
Last year, then-THS senior Laura Jeannin sunk two free throws in the closing moments as Tonganoxie won, 34-33.
Both teams eventually played in the state tournament - THS placed fourth in 4A; Silver Lake finished fourth in 3A. Tonganoxie enters today's 5:30 p.m. game at 11-0, while Silver Lake is 8-3.
This year's game again could be a preview of two eventual state teams.
"They're going to be gunning for us," Bogard said. "We've just got to keep up our intensity and play our game.
Tonganoxie 64, Jeff West 45
Jeff West 5 17 14 9 - 45
Tonganoxie 19 12 21 12 - 64
Jeff West - Ashton Becker 2, Rebecca Rodecap 12, Audrey Mullins 2, Roxanne Jensen 6, Ally Scott 3, Marcia Beecham 8, Katie Bingham 10, Hayley Hypse 2.
Tonganoxie - Tracie Hileman 4, Ashlee Lohman 2, Ali Pistora 10, Elizabeth Baska 8, Shannon Carlin 6, Kelley Stauch 6, Rebecca Bogard 6, Rachel Bogard 22.