by Brian Turrel
The Turner Golden Bears had trouble containing Bonner Springs junior guard Keyon Thomas. The speedy Bonner junior scored 36 in an 82-69 home win on Friday night.
The Braves ran a motion offense to open driving lanes for Thomas, who usually finished his drives at the rim, but kicked back to his open teammates if the defense closed the gap in time. The Braves also used takeaways to feed Thomas, finding him outpacing the defense in transition.
The Braves held the court in the first half, limiting the Bears’ access to the lane and turning defensive disruptions into fast breaks. Bonner Springs was up 40-22 at halftime.
Turner battled back in the second half, pushing the tempo on their offense and finding more opportunities for Fred Poe and Jaylin Richardson. They cut the Braves’ lead to single digits in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t find enough defensive stops to get closer.
In addition to Thomas’s 36 points, A.J. Watson contributed 15, and Cole Oakes had 9. For Turner, Ty Gilmore led the scoring with 19, followed by Richardson with 18 and Donald Rollen with 12, including two three-pointers.
Bonner Springs remains undefeated in the Kaw Valley League at 7-0 (14-1 overall), 1 1/2 games ahead of second place Basehor-Linwood. They will play next at Piper High School at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9. Turner drops to 3-4 in the league (5-9 overall) and will play Bishop Ward High School at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on Ward’s home court at Kansas City Kansas Community College.