Lady ‘Cats familiar with 0-3 start
Last season, the Basehor-Linwood High School girls basketball team started off 0-3 and went on to have a successful season.
This year, the Bobcats have equaled their less-than-appealing start from a season ago and because they turned things around last year, they're expecting to do the same thing in 2001.
"I think we're playing well as a team, it's just that our shots aren't falling," senior Tara Lucas said. "Knowing we've been here before gives us confidence that we can come out of it. We just need to start hitting our shots."
For Lucas, the shots came pretty easy against Piper. She found herself in the right place at the right time during the entire game and she finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
"Tara was great for us tonight," BLHS coach Mardy Robinson said. "That's the kind of game we expect her to play every time out. And now that she has, I think she'll get on a roll."
Lucas said she was able to get easier shots because she worked harder to get herself involved in the action. Rather than passively standing around while she watched an opponent or even a teammate battle for a loose ball, Lucas said she made sure she was more active and it wound up working out.
While Lucas racked up one of the best games of her career, it didn't look like it would turn out that way in the early going. At first, it didn't look like any of the Bobcats would be enjoying career days.
BLHS fell behind 11-2 as Piper hit from inside and outside to gain the early advantage. But a 9-4 Bobcat run closed the gap to four and it ended with a Lesley Hancock jumper at the buzzer.
Midway through the second quarter Hancock again knocked in a big shot and with two minutes remaining in the half, the Bobcats trailed by just five.
"Lesley really stepped up and hit some big shots for us," Robinson said. "She was our spark off the bench against Piper and that's what we need her to be. Sometimes the sixth man is more important than the starters because they bring that spark off the bench and I want Lesley to be our sixth man."
The Bobcats trailed by eight at halftime, but got no closer than six the rest of the game before ultimately falling, 54-44. Piper built the early lead and spent the rest of the game protecting it and that was what cost the Bobcats the game. In fact, that's what has cost them all three games so far this season.
"We've thought about it and we've talked about it," sophomore Alex Jeannin said of the team's slow starts. "And we know we just have to come out a little more aggressive and a little more focused. We still have hope. We still have expectations and it's not over by any means. We've played three of the toughest teams around and we battled with them. That can only help us down the road."
Bonner Springs, Santa Fe Trail and Piper all had a size advantage on the Bobcats. But when they host Lansing on Friday, Dec. 14, it will be the Bobcats who have the size advantage and they're fully expecting to break their losing streak with that game.
"If we find our spark at the beginning of Friday's game, we will win," Lucas said. "There's no doubt about it."