by Brian Turrel
The Bonner Springs boys basketball team came from a 10-point deficit to beat Piper in Bonner Springs on Tuesday night.
The win pulls the Braves (7-1 Frontier League, 15-2 overall) within a half-game of the league-leading Pirates (8-1, 13-4) and sets up some drama for the closing days of the regular season.
The Pirates started strong, limiting Bonner’s penetration, and rejecting shots from the paint. At times Piper positioned Braijion Barnes squarely in front of the basket to protect the rim. A run early in the second quarter shot Piper to a 20-10 advantage.
The Braves rallied late in the second half, briefly taking the lead before Piper got two consecutive stops and a 26-24 halftime lead.
The Pirates started strong out of the halftime break, but their lead evaporated as Braves guard Keyon Thomas heated up, hitting two 3-pointers and finding some open driving lanes.
In one thrilling segment of the third quarter, Thomas and Rishaud Dockery traded 3-pointers with the Pirates’ Braijion Barnes, sending the packed student sections of both teams into an uproar. Bonner finished the quarter with a 44-37 advantage.
Piper’s Tamar Bates shifted into overdrive in the fourth quarter, picking up 12 points, including two 3-pointers. However, Bonner was able to maintain their margin and closed out the game.
The night ended on a sour note when a brief shoving match broke out in the handshake line, getting both teams sent straight to the lockers.
Thomas led the Braves with 29 points. Rishaud Dockery added 14, and was 5-of-6 from the line. A.J. Watson scored 11.
Tamar Bates paced the Pirates with 20 points, while Trey Bates scored 13.
Bonner Springs will play on Friday at Louisburg. Piper’s next game is a non-conference game at home against Schlagle next Tuesday.