Lady ‘Cats grounded
BLHS girls fall to 0-2; point guard injured again
The Basehor-Linwood girls basketball team tried to get out and run against Clay Center on Friday. It was obvious that they wanted to, and they showed flashes of the up-tempo style coach Mardy Robinson has preached. But every time the Bobcats got going, the guys in the striped shirts seemed intent on slowing things down.
In a tightly-called game where it seemed like there was a whistle every time down court, the Bobcats were unable to get in a flow offensively and fell to the Tigers 54-32.
"I think the way the officials called the game really slowed the tempo," Robinson said. "Every time we started to get momentum the game slowed down." "We have to learn to adjust to the officials because they won't adjust to us."
One player who didn't need to adjust to the officials was Clay Center junior Megan Koster. The 5-foot-10 Koster scored 29 points, including 15 from the free throw line, to lead all scorers.
Basehor struck first when guard Alex Jeannin banked in a runner in the lane to give the Bobcats their only lead. Jeannin would score just three more points the rest of the game, but she led the team with six assists and three steals.
After Jeannin's bucket, the game belonged to Koster. The junior maneuvered patiently in the post and scored eight points on a variety of lay-ups and free throws to lead the Tigers to a 10-4 lead after one quarter.
The Bobcats seemed to be rushing their shots in the first quarter, which guard Kelly Schaffer attributed to first-game jitters.
"I was wired, I was really nervous," Schaffer said. "It's always like that in the first game. I came out bouncing off the walls."
Schaffer calmed down and found her shot in the second quarter, leading the Bobcats back into the game. While Koster was still dominating the post, Schaffer and Jeannin began to take over on the perimeter. Three times Jeannin drove into the lane, drew the defense and pitched out to Schaffer. Three straight times Schaffer's shot dropped in from three-point range.
"She would penetrate, and I would fill in behind her and get open," Schaffer. "We pretty much just know what the other person will do. Coach tells us to do it all the time."
Schaffer scored all of her team-high nine points in the second quarter spurt, with her last three cutting Clay Center's lead to 20-18 at halftime.
In the second half Clay Center took away Schaffer's open looks, and the parade to the free-throw line continued for Koster, who almost single-handedly got Basehor's starting frontcourt of Katie Burchfield and Morgan Kenney into foul trouble.
Kenney, a junior, had a solid all-around game with six points, four rebounds, two blocks and three steals, but ended up fouling out with just over two minutes left.
"It was frustrating because it was the first game, and I wasn't really sure what to expect," Kenney said. "I'm not used to starting on varsity."
With some of her starters in foul trouble, Robinson got some help from her bench, especially junior Samantha Paterson. Paterson showed good touch from the field, going 3 for 6 and scoring eight points, while also chipping in two rebounds and a steal.
But the slow game ultimately played into the Tigers' hands, as they were content to pound it in to Koster and wait for her to convert a lay-up or get a foul called.
Clay Center opened the fourth quarter with a jumper to extend the lead to 35-24 and then steadily pulled away the rest of the game, erasing all the work the Bobcats had done to keep it close in the early going.
"Our first half was good," Kenney said. "But you have to put two good halves together to win."
Sumner 53, BLHS 22
On Tuesday the Lady 'Cats lost their home opener to Sumner Academy 53-22. Sabres sophomore guard Marisah Henderson controlled play on both ends, scoring 15 points and creating several turnovers. Her buzzer-beater from half-court at the end of the first quarter put Sumner up 18-6.
Jeannin went out with an injury at the end of the first half, and the Bobcats had trouble adjusting to playing without the four-year starter.
Sumner went on a 19-0 run in the third quarter that put the game out of reach. Even then, though, Basehor didn't give up. Schaffer took over the fourth quarter, scoring eight points, and the Bobcats outscored the Sabres 12-5 in the final period.
Kenney had another solid game inside, finishing with five points, four rebounds, four blocks and two steals. Basehor's next game is Friday, Dec. 12 at Mill Valley.