by Brian Turrel
The Bonner Springs boys basketball team went home from Piper High School on Friday night with a 91-73 win and sole possession of first place in the league. Fans of both teams packed the gym and contributed to a festive game day atmosphere.
Piper’s perimeter defense was fast enough to limit Bonner’s usual dribble drive penetration, so Bonner went to work elsewhere, with Joshua Williams finding opportunities in the paint and Cole Oakes scoring from long range.
Bonner Springs held the lead from the start and built an 8-point advantage in the first quarter, with Trey Bates alone scoring Piper’s 12 first-quarter points. The Braves extended their lead to 15 at the half, aided by two three-pointers from Oakes.
Keyon Thomas got freed up in the third quarter, posting 12 points on a combination of inside and outside scoring. Down by 23 at the end of the third quarter, Piper made a run in the fourth quarter, but not enough to close the large gap.
Thomas and Williams led the Braves with 24 points each. Thomas was perfect on his 10 free throw attempts. Oakes added 14 points, including three three-pointers in the first half. Brothers Trey and Tamar Bates led the Pirates, older brother Trey with 21 points and Tamar with 19.
Bonner Springs improved its record to 8-0 in the Kaw Valley League, one game ahead of second place Basehor-Linwood. The Braves will play host to the Bishop Ward Cyclones at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Piper drops to 6-3, good for third in the league. They will meet the Basehor-Linwood Bobcats at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Piper.