Bobcats drop two in different styles
All it took was one look.
One look at the Basehor-Linwood High School boys basketball team as they walked back onto the floor after halftime said it all. Down 32-14 at the half, the Bobcats were already a beaten team.
"I think they were," BLHS coach Bruce Courtney said with a sigh moments after his team suffered its most disappointing loss of the season, 68-40 to Mill Valley.
"At halftime, we only talked about one thing and that was that these guys had a decision to make. That decision was a choice between stepping up and coming out with fire and intensity in the second half or packing it in."
It wasn't just after halftime that the Bobcats came out flat. After surrendering nine points on deep Mill Valley three-pointers, the Bobcats trailed 19-11 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, they only scored three points.
Courtney said he wasn't sure why his team was flat. But one thing was certain, the Bobcats were flat in almost everything they did. It showed in the guards' handling of the ball. It showed in the post players' indecision with the ball. And it showed in the facial expressions on the bench.
Shots hit corners and sides of the backboard, if they hit anything at all, and passes sailed past white jerseys and into Mill Valley hands. In a thought, it was an unbelievably off night.
"It was a huge slump tonight," Courtney said. "I'm not even sure slump is a strong enough word."
It was also nothing like the performance the Bobcats put on the floor just four nights earlier.
Friday, Feb. 15, the Bobcats traveled to Immaculata with an upset on their mind. Through two quarters it looked like the Bobcats might win.
BLHS came out on fire in the first quarter against Immaculata and at the end of the first half, BLHS and Imac were tied.
"We've stressed that lately," senior guard Jake Hills said. "We've come out strong in the first quarter of our last couple games and we know we need to do that to keep our intensity up for four quarters."
The second half of BLHS's 79-64 loss to Immaculata wasn't so much about the Bobcat's lack of intensity as it was about the hot shooting of the Raiders. Imac nailed seven of its first eight shots in the third quarter, and the halftime tie ballooned to a 12-point Imac lead before the Bobcats could even blink.
Hills led the team with 17 points, four steals and five assists.
"After my first couple of shots fell, I got some momentum and got a little more aggressive," Hills said. "It doesn't make the loss any easier, but it was nice to get some things to go my way. Tonight was a lot of fun."
On Tuesday night, the only part of the game that was fun was when senior center Dan Rundus checked into the game for the first time in his career with 1:51 remaining in the fourth quarter.
In that time span, Rundus grabbed two rebounds, blocked one shot, dished one assist and was 0 for 1 from the field.
"It was excellent," Rundus said with a smile. "I was so scared, but then I calmed down and that two minutes was definitely worth four years of hard work."