BLHS forecast has better second half
Basehor-Linwood High School's boys basketball team missed finishing fourth at its own tournament by two points.
Instead, Friday, Jan. 18, the Bobcats finished eighth by 33 points.
"Now that it's all over with, we can look at it like we were just two points away from having a shot at that third-place trophy," BLHS coach Bruce Courtney said. "We were in the thick of those first two games and even though we lost our confidence is still pretty high."
After falling to top-seeded Mill Valley in the first round by just two points, the Bobcats put their fifth solid effort on the floor in their next game against Platte County.
BLHS led by eight after three quarters, but at the start of the fourth, Platte County unleashed a devastating run. When time expired, the Bobcats were on the losing end, 80-74.
The loss put them in the seventh-place game a place they'd rather not have been.
In the seventh-place contest, St. Joseph Benton jumped all over the Bobcats early. Benton used its size, quickness and athletic ability to put the Bobcats in a quick 18-3 hole, and from there, BLHS could not recover.
By the end of the game, BLHS had only mustered 34 points, while surrendering 67 in the 33-point loss.
Despite the lopsided loss, Courtney said it might have been just what his team needed.
"In a way, that loss could be a good thing for us," Courtney said. "It should get us a little better focused for the second half of our season. It's really hard to get up for one more game when you come off two highly emotional back-to-back games like we did."
As for getting up for the second half of the season, Courtney said he thought there would be no problem with that.
"We could have a completely different second half of the season," Courtney said. "Anything can happen and I really believe we can have a great second half. I think our guys believe that, too. And what more can a coach ask for than to have a group of guys who will make the effort every night."
On all fronts, the Bobcats seem to be clicking. They're playing hard, they're playing with intensity and they're playing as a team. Courtney said those factors, along with so many other intangible factors, are what have him forecasting good things for the second half of the season.
BLHS senior guard Jake Hills has bought into Courtney's optimism.
"We might not win many games in the second half of the season," Hills said. "We might not win any. But with the way we're playing, I think we're going to be the toughest team to beat down the stretch."
BLHS 42, Santa Fe Trail 73
The second half of the season got off to a rough start for the Bobcats, as they came out flat and lacked intensity in a 73-42 road loss to Santa Fe Trail.
BLHS coach Bruce Courtney said the effort was not what he was looking for to start the second half of the schedule.
"They're a good ball club, they really are," Courtney said of Santa Fe Trail. "But we didn't have nearly enough intensity to play with them. We allowed them to dictate way too much of that game."
The Bobcats trailed from the get-go, falling behind 16-6 in the first quarter and 37-20 at halftime.
Brian Gripka led the Bobcats in scoring with 14 points, as he nailed three shots from behind the arc. Eric Peeler chipped in 10 before fouling out.