Tonganoxie Invitational Tournament set to tip Monday
Lansing boys seek third straight victory in 4:30 p.m. showdown with Atchison; LHS girls play Jeff West at 3 p.m.
Tonganoxie Expect some parity at the 48th annual Tonganoxie Invitational boys basketball tournament - the second oldest Kansas high school tournament behind the Dodge City Tournament of Champions.
Atchison, Tonganoxie and Pleasant Ridge currently have just one loss each, while the rest of the field, sans Lansing, is hovering around .500. Even Lansing, with a 2-6 record likely won't be a pushover, as the Lions have embarked on a new season with a new coach against a rugged schedule. Jeff West also enters the season with a new coach.
"On the boys side, obviously Atchison's a good team," said THS athletics director Brandon Parker. "But I see it being pretty even, even with Atchison."
Atchison is ranked No. 5 in the state, while Tonganoxie, which last year went 2-19, is ranked in some publications with a 6-2 record.
On the girls side, four squads have two losses or less - Tonganoxie, Pleasant Ridge, Silver Lake and Eudora.
THS is ranked No. 1 in 4A with a 8-0 record, while Silver Lake (5-3) and Pleasant Ridge (5-2) have gotten off to good starts in 3A. After stumbling early, Eudora is 4-2.
"Obviously our girls are pretty strong," Parker said about Tonganoxie. "Silver Lake's well-coached. Lansing gave us a really good game. Eudora's played a lot better as the season's gone on."
The girls tournament is in just its fourth year of existence, but parity, at least in the form of the tournament champion, has been strong. There's been a different champion every year - Jeff West in 2004, Tonganoxie in 2005 and Silver Lake in 2006. THS has played in each of those title games.
Some tournaments split up boys and girls tournaments, with schools sending their boys team to one tournament and their girls team to another during midseason tournament time.
With the exit of Metro Academy and the addition of Eudora on the girls side, the Tonganoxie tournament field now has the same eight schools competing in both tourneys.
"There will be tournaments that do another format," Parker said. "But we always think it's better to put boys and girls together. I think it's better for fans because you get to see different styles of basketball."
3 p.m. - Lansing girls vs. Jeff West.
4:30 p.m. - Lansing boys vs. Atchison.
6 p.m. - Eudora girls vs. Atchison.
7:30 p.m. - Pleasant Ridge boys vs. Eudora.
3 p.m. - Pleasant Ridge girls vs. Silver Lake.
4:30 p.m. - Silver Lake boys vs. Immaculata.
6 p.m. - Tonganoxie girls. vs. Immaculata.
7:30 p.m. - Tonganoxie boys vs. Jefferson West.