Bonner Springs girls give coach Clay Oakes his 200th career victory
Bonner Springs girls basketball coach Clay Oakes could be forgiven for being taken by surprise after it was announced that Tuesday’s victory against Lansing was career win No. 200.
The possibility came up a few weeks ago, but Oakes said he hadn’t had a lot of time to think about it. What with three straight nailbiters — two in which the Braves had to overcome halftime deficits — going into Tuesday’s 51-28 victory.
Oakes stood in his office, catching his breath after telling his team (now 15-0) to celebrate, and reflected for a moment while the band played and the boys warmed up for their game.
“It hadn’t even occurred to me,” he said. “Now that you mention it, it feels pretty good.”
The Braves never trailed against Lansing (2-13). In fact their lead swelled from seven in the first quarter to 10 at halftime and 27 heading into the final quarter.
Bonner Springs’ leading scorer, Anna Deegan, led the team with 14 points, including two late baskets to extend the rout. Deegan also shot 6-of-11 from the free-throw line. Erica Wilson added eight points, including two from the paint to help lead a run that would produce the Braves’ largest lead yet. Haley Hoffine and Erin Marx each scored seven points.
The Braves held Lansing to just two made field goals in the first quarter. Bonner Springs jumped out to an early 7-0 lead that could have been wider had a few shots below the basket gone in and a pass didn’t go out of bounds.
“We missed a couple bunnies and chip shots tonight,” Oakes said.
Although the Braves experienced a handful of fits and starts on offense, the message from the bench remained consistent.
“Let’s just run it,” Oakes said. “That’s our style of ball. We’re at our best going up and down the court.”
In that aspect, Hernandez lapped the competition. She was in the face of Lions shooters all night, swiping the ball away and jetting up court. When she couldn’t buy a bucket, she’d find Erica Wilson in the paint for an assist.
“That was Yessenia’s best job of attacking and running and getting the ball down court,” Oakes said.
Hernandez scored five of the Braves’ final nine points.
The Braves didn’t leave unscathed. Emily Wilson went down early in the second quarter after becoming tangled up and falling on defense.
Oakes said she aggravated her left knee, which she sprained prior to the girls’ Jan. 13 game against Turner. Emily Wilson has worn a black knee brace since the injury.
“She said she heard a slight pop,” Oakes said. “But she didn’t think it was a ligament.”
And while Emily Wilson sat out against Turner, Oakes said he hopes to have her back in time for Friday’s game against Mill Valley.
The Jaguars, 12-3 and second in the Kaw Valley League, have won 12 straight since Bonner Springs won the two teams’ first meeting, 38-37, in the season’s third game.
A Mill Valley victory would create a two-team gridlock atop the KVL standings. Also on Tuesday, the Jaguars routed Tonganoxie (10-5). The final score? 51-28.
“We knew we were on a collision course with them,” Oakes said.
At 6 p.m. Friday, prepare for impact in Bonner Springs.