By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
The past two or three weeks, it's been about strong defense and tenacity for the Bonner Springs boys basketball team.
On Friday night against Tonganoxie, it was Bonner Springs' athleticism on offense and execution of the offensive game-plan that was the difference.
Bonner Springs defeated Tonganoxie 76-53 behind a team-high 24 points from Stevie Williams, who snapped a bit of a late-season funk.
Williams scored five quick points to help Bonner Springs build an 8-4 lead. That's as close as the game was. Williams scored in double figures early in the game, scoring 10 points on the way to a 26-10 lead.
After Tonganoxie went on a 8-1 run to cut the lead down to nine, it was senior Johnathan Jackson who put a second quarter dagger in the heart of Tonganoxie.
Jackson went on a quick 8-2 run, hitting a couple of three-pointers to push the lead to 35-20. Tonganoxie cut the lead down to nine points by halftime.
In the second half, it was another great run for Williams that put the game away yet again. Williams' quick six points to begin the second half helped Bonner Springs start the half on a 13-4 run.
The man who orchestrated the attack was point guard B.J. Watson. Watson bypassed several shots and kept the ball moving.
Still, he had 12 points in his own right, including a couple of three-pointers.
"We really wanted to get a fast pace in this game," Watson said. "We had more athletic guards than them and our big guys can move quicker."
Bonner's offensive attack was unstoppable at times. They took advantage of several Tonganoxie turnovers and earned hard points inside, with Williams taking a particular hard drop to the floor.
The Braves hit eight three-pointers, most of which were created after terrific ball movement and unselfish play.
"We really think we are peaking right now," Watson said. "Coach Price has stressed defense to us."
For Tonganoxie, Dane Erickson had another terrific game.
Erickson likely punched his All-Kaw Valley League honors with a 33-point game on the road against Bonner Springs.
With league out of the picture, it's about sub-state seeding and finishing the season strong for the Braves.
After all, the Braves will be the home team in sub-state this year, as Bonner Springs High School is the host.
"We're very excited to be the home team," Watson said. "We always have a great crowd and the entire city checks us out. We're excited and that will be huge."