Bobcats open with 0-2 road trip
Basehor-Linwood boys basketball coach Bruce Courtney got the balance he was looking for on Friday night, with 11 players seeing significant minutes and nine of them scoring.
Clay Center couldn't match that balance, but with seniors Lance Mall and Jordy Greene scoring at will, the Tigers didn't have to. Mall scored 31 points ,and Greene added 20 more to key a 72-44 victory over Basehor.
The Tigers outscored the Bobcats 24-4 in the third quarter to turn a close game into a rout. Although many different Bobcats scored, the team never seemed to get in a consistent flow offensively and seemed to rush shots.
"We didn't seem to click," Courtney said. "We had some good looks early, but they didn't go in, and I think that led to some impatience."
The game began well for Basehor, as Joel Vandervelde made a lay-up off a lob pass from Cody Herbster. But the 2-0 lead was the last one the Bobcats would have. Greene seemed to sneak behind the defense time and again to score easy baskets in transition. His lay-up at the beginning of the second quarter gave the Tigers their first ten-point lead at 21-11.
"We just didn't get back, that was totally on us," Herbster said of the Tigers' transition game.
Herbster answered Greene's lay-in on the offensive end, coming off a screen and nailing a three-pointer from the top of the key to make it 21-14. The senior showed good touch from the outside, going 4 of 6 from the field and scoring a team-high nine points, all of them in the first half.
Other Bobcats got good looks inside, but many of them just wouldn't fall, leading to frustration.
"It kind of discouraged us, but we just kept throwing it in there" guard John Shumaker said. "You don't get shots from two feet all the time and usually we make them."
While Herbster led the offense in the first half, Shumaker sparked the defense. He scored two of Basehor's few transition points by stealing a pass at the top of the key and taking it coast to coast for a lay-up. A few plays later Shumaker, at 5-foot-11, came from his guard position to block a lay-up attempt by the 6-foot-4 Mall.
"We all needed to step up," Shumaker said. "Defense is a team effort."
Despite giving up a lot of easy baskets, the Bobcats trailed just 30-23 at halftime.
But in the third quarter the roof caved in on Basehor. Greene continued to get to the hoop before the Bobcats could get their defense set. And when the Tigers were forced to slow down they ran their half-court offense smoothly through Mall in the post. Courtney threw a few different defenders at the senior center, but he seemed to catch all of them out of position defensively.
"He did a wonderful job of setting himself up on our guys," Courtney said. "I think we were a little surprised by his quickness and his ability and he took advantage of us falling asleep."
Herbster was impressed by Mall but was disappointed by Basehor's team defense.
"We needed help on the backside and we didn't get it," Herbster said. "He was good but we should have stopped him."
Even if the Bobcats had done a better job on Mall, it would have been difficult to overcome their offensive struggles in the third quarter. The team went ice cold from the field, only scoring on free throws from Robby Paterson and Nick Box and a lay-up by Shumaker at the end of the quarter. By that point Clay Center was firmly in control, leading 56-27.
The Bobcats got a spark from their bench in the fourth quarter and actually outscored the Tigers 17-16. Box scored just one point but added three rebounds, an assist and a block, as well as some defensive intensity. Courtney was pleased with the efforts of his other bench players as well.
"We had several guys come off the bench and step up," Courtney said. "Paterson added a boost on defense and penetrating to the hoop. I thought all of them came in with a lot of emotion and hustle."
Amongst the starters, Brett Dowdall chipped in six points, two assists and a rebound, and Vandervelde finished second on the team in scoring with seven points, to go along with five rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
But it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the play that the Tigers got from Greene and Mall.
"We need to work harder and focus more," Herbster said. "It was the first game and we were nervous, but we need to keep at it."
Immaculata 80 BLHS 53
On Tuesday the Bobcats suffered their second straight road loss, 80-53, at Immaculata. The team struggled mightily in the first half and trailed 52-16 at the break. Rather than mailing it in, the Bobcats clawed back and won the second half, though the game was out of reach.
"The guys really turned it around," Courtney said. "They could have bowed out and given up but they sure didn't do that."
Seth Lashbrook led the way with 13 points, including three three-pointers. Adam Smith chipped in 11 points. Basehor's next game is at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12 at Mill Valley.