Bobcats bombarded by three-pointers
Most coaches would tell you that a team usually learns more from a loss than it does from a win.
On Friday, Nov. 30, during the first game of their season, the Basehor-Linwood Bobcats learned a lot.
"You saw a lot of those guys grow up right there in front of you tonight," BLHS coach Bruce Courtney said after the team's 59-43 loss to Bonner Springs. "They saw the writing on the wall, they saw what they needed to do to be competitive and they did it. We learned a lot from this game."
On paper, it might have appeared like the Bobcats had no business even being in the same gym with the Braves. But on the floor, they proved otherwise.
Outside of an early Bonner Springs run, that later proved to be their demise, the Bobcats hung with the bigger, faster, more experienced Braves for four quarters.
"I think the first quarter really hurt us," Courtney said. "Being so young, and it being our first game of the year, I think we had those first-game jitters pretty bad. But I was real proud of the way we were able to handle that and do what it took to get back into the game."
Had it not been for Bonner Springs' senior guard Michael Cook, who absolutely went off from three-point land, the Bobcats might have done more than get back into the game. Instead though, Cook made sure that this would not be the Bobcats' night.
"You could just tell he was going to make it if you left him open," Courtney said. "You could just see it."
Cook torched the Bobcats for 18 points in the first quarter, on 6-of-8 shooting from behind the arc, and when all was said and done, he had hit the Bobcats with 32 points and a new Bonner Springs High School record 10 three-pointers.
While Cook's early hot shooting buried the Bobcats in a seemingly insurmountable hole, it was actually two shots late in the game that proved to be the killers. Despite a valiant effort that saw the Bobcats cut a 16-point gap to as few as seven with possession in the fourth quarter, Cook connected on two late three-pointers to ice the game.
"I'm really pleased with our effort," Courtney said. "There was a point in this game where it could've gone either way. We did learn a lot tonight and we can take what we've learned and expand on that in the future."
Senior forward Eric Peeler led the Bobcats in scoring as he scored 17 points on 7-of-7 shooting. Brian Gripka added eight points and Brandon Dye chipped in seven for the Bobcats, who fell to 0-1.
Bonner Springs: T. J. McGinnis 0 0-0 1 0, Chris Cobbins 2 2-4 2 6, Aaron Weathers 2 0-0 1 5, Michael Cook 11 0-0 0 32, Jeremy Krug 0 0-0 0 0, Michael Copeland 3 0-0 2 6, Steven Lutjen 0 0-0 2 0, Sidney Birdsong 0 0-0 0 0, Jared Gillespie 3 2-2 4 8, Romie Hall 1 0-2 4 2, Chris Stakely 0 0-0 0 0, Scott Gray 0 0-0 1 0, totals 22 4-8 18 59
Basehor-Linwood: Eric Laffere 1 0-0 0 3, John Grube 1 0-0 2 2, Brian Gripka 3 0-2 2 8, Jake Hills 1 0-0 3 2, Nick Verbenec 0 1-2 0 1, Brandon Dye 3 1-1 2 7, Garyn Gorup 1 1-2 2 3, Bronson Schaake 0 0-0 0 0, Eric Peeler 7 3-5 1 17, totals 17 6-12 12 43
Score by quarters:
Basehor-Linwood 11 15 8 9-43
Bonner Springs 22 13 10 14 - 59
Santa Fe Trail 57
The learning process continued for the Bobcats on Tuesday, Dec. 4, as they hosted Santa Fe Trail and let one slip away.
Trailing 27-20 at halftime after a first half plagued by turnovers and poor shooting, the Bobcats played their best quarter of the season in the third to take command of the game.
Junior Brandon Dye led the charge for the Bobcats during the third, as he scored six points in the early going and senior Eric Peeler also added eight during the 19-8 run that gave the Bobcats a 39-35 lead heading into the final frame.
In the fourth, the Bobcats pushed their lead to as many as seven, but failed to put the Chargers away. SFT junior Shane Miles nailed two big shots in the final 1:35 and his teammates