BLHS falls to 0-3 with loss
Brandon Dye and Nick Verbenec have been through this before.
After starting the football season off with two straight losses, BLHS's senior quarterback and junior wide receiver saw their team turn its season around and win the Kaw Valley League title.
So are they hoping for the same thing in basketball? Well, not exactly. But after an 0-3 start, Dye and Verbenec are sitting in a position to do just that.
"Everybody knows we've been in all three games we've lost, but it's been one bad quarter that has killed us," Dye said. "Last year in basketball, we only won one of our first three. And in football this year, we started slow but ended up fine, so I think we'll be fine in basketball, too."
The latest of the one-quarter collapses came Friday, Dec. 7, when the Bobcats traveled to Piper to take on the defending KVL champs.
The Bobcats fell behind early and played catch up the rest of the game. BLHS coach Bruce Courtney said climbing out of those early holes has made things difficult for the Bobcats in the early going.
"We've got some real competitive players on our team," Courtney said. "They realize they can play with just about anybody and right now we just have to work on getting mentally prepared and coming out with some intensity."
Five minutes into the game, the Bobcats picked up their intensity and got back into the contest. Junior Brandon Dye hit two first-quarter three-pointers and added another bucket to score eight of his 10 points in the game's opening quarter.
Even Dye's eight points only cut the lead to 12-8 and late in the quarter Piper's Chris Hargis drained a three-pointer of his own. Hargis' bomb pushed the lead back to seven and after one BLHS trailed 15-8.
"Each time it just seemed like there were two or three circumstances that if it would have gone a different way we would've been right there with them," Courtney said. "
After playing another quarter of catch up, the Bobcats entered halftime down by nine, 36-27. In the second half, the Pirates came out determined to put the game away and early on in the fourth quarter they did that. An 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter put the Bobcats behind by 17 and from there they couldn't get back in it.
"Piper did a good job of changing the pace in the second half and for a while we fell into it," Courtney said.
At times Piper ran and pushed the tempo. Other times they played a controlled, half-court offense. And still at other times they did a combination of the two. In the end, it was too much for the young Bobcats to handle, but as was the case in their first two losses, Courtney said he thought the Bobcats learned from their latest loss.
"I'm real impressed with our whole team for the simple fact that we didn't have a lot of varsity experience and we walked into the No. 2 team in 4A's court early in the season and were in the game for quite a while," Courtney said.
Had it not been for a few costly turnovers here and there, and Piper's 13-1 margin at the free throw line, the Bobcats might have been in the game for even longer.
Instead, BLHS (0-3) walked away with another loss and another lesson. The Bobcats will next look to crack the win column on Friday, Dec. 14, when they host Lansing.