Bobcats drop opener, upend Imac
Basehor-Linwood High School boys basketball coach Bruce Courtney was happy the Bobcats' season opener did not follow the trend of the first few minutes.
In that early stretch against Clay Center, Basehor-Linwood threw up two airball three-point shots and a Clay Center player accidentally stepped on the face of sophomore Kyle Speichinger.
More importantly, the Bobcats fell behind on the scoreboard, 6-0.
Basehor-Linwood would fight back to make the game competitive, but eventually lost to Clay Center 77-71 Friday, Dec. 6, in their season opener.
While Courtney was pleased his team fought back, he was not satisfied with the overall performance.
"I wasn't happy through the whole game," Courtney said. "We didn't play very well at all. We made an awful lot of mental mistakes. Some of that can be because it's the first game, but we have to do better.
"We're a lot better team than that."
Even though Courtney was not satisfied, his team was within striking distance throughout the entire game.
In fact, following that dismal start, the Bobcats actually shot their way into the lead, mostly with help of senior Brandon Dye.
Dye exploded for 14 of his game-high 32 points in the first quarter. He hit four-of-four two-point shots and two-of-three three-point shots in the quarter.
Dye's scoring pace slowed after the first quarter, but he was always confident.
"If I'm open, I can make the shot," Dye said. "I've always done well as an open shooter."
With Dye carrying most of the scoring burden, Basehor-Linwood scored nine unanswered points to take a 9-6 lead.
By the end of the first quarter, the Bobcats owned a 22-17 lead.
"(Dye) doesn't have a green light, but he has the ability to make things happen," Courtney said. "He tries to be the guy to pull everybody up and out, and I don't know if he needs to do that. We need other guys to step up."
The next quarter would be the Bobcats' downfall. After increasing the lead to seven, the largest lead Basehor-Linwood would have, Clay Center stormed back.
Clay Center used a fast-paced attack to outrun Basehor-Linwood. Clay Center advanced the ball quickly, and the Bobcats were not always ready for it.
"We let the other team out-hustle us," Courtney said. "They were a quick team. We're pretty quick, and they were quicker than us tonight."
Clay Center outscored Basehor-Linwood in the second quarter 23-10, and they would never lose the lead again.
"We have to be awake," Dye said. "They were really quick in transition. They were on the other side of the court before we were ready sometimes."
At halftime, Clay Center led, 40-32.
For most of the second half, Clay Center's lead hovered around 10 points, the largest being 15.
In the fourth quarter, the Bobcats made a run at Clay Center, but the deficit was too large.
"These guys are really dedicated and hard working individuals," Courtney said. "I don't think they'd ever give up personally, but they let Clay Center work harder than them."
Courtney was admittedly disappointed with the outcome of the game, but he saw some things that he liked as well.
"We did quite a few things well," Courtney said. "We had glimpses of things throughout when we settled down and ran the offense. The big guys did some things well, and the three-point shooters were able to make some shots."
Senior John Grube was the only other Bobcat in double figures, with 12 points.
BLHS 65 Immaculata 63 (OT)
The Bobcats picked up their first road victory of the season Tuesday, Dec. 10, in thrilling fashion beating Immaculata, 65-63, in overtime.
Senior Brandon Dye connected on seven three-pointers, including one that tied the game in the final minute of regulation. Dye finished with 30 points for the second straight game. He scored 32 points in the season opener.
Bronson Schaake aded 10 points and Adam Smith poured in 13, as the Bobcats improved to 1-1 on the season.