Basehor-Linwood growing up
Last time Basehor-Linwood played Piper, the Bobcats were nothing more than a group of wide-eyed, inexperienced basketball players.
That contest took place on Dec. 7, and after hanging around for a while, the Bobcats were dealt a 52-32 loss.
After the game, BLHS coach Bruce Courtney said he thought his guys grew up a lot on the court that night.
Now, 10 games and nearly two months later, Courtney said he thinks his guys have grown up even more.
"I think we're a lot better ball team than we were then," Courtney said. "We're a lot more experienced and a lot more confident in what we can do. We're anxious to play them again."
Adding to the anxiety of the rematch with Piper is the chance the Bobcats will get to protect their home court on Courtwarming night, no less.
"I think there will be a little extra motivation and intensity because of that," Courtney said of the event, which he likened to Homecoming in football. "We're just ready to play and we want to get back out there and prove we can play with the best teams in the league."
No better place to start than at the top. Heading into Friday's matchup, the Pirates sit alone atop the Kaw Valley League standings.
At 8-1, Piper owns a two-game lead over both Santa Fe Trail and Lansing.
The Bobcats, on the other hand, own only a tiebreaker with De Soto and right now that's keeping them out of the cellar.
Despite their struggles, Courtney said he's received words of encouragement from other coaches around the league about how hard his team plays.
"I don't think there's anybody in our league that is going to look past us," Courtney said.
The only team able to do that would be Tonganoxie. The Chieftains and Bobcats were slated to square off on Tuesday, Jan. 29, but bad weather forced the games to be moved to Monday.
Courtney said his team was anxious for the Tonganoxie matchup, but they're even more excited for a rematch with Piper.
"They were feeling good about that one," Courtney said. "Now we have to switch gears and get ready for Piper."