BLHS wrestlers on a roll, ready for KVL meet
Even in success, Basehor-Linwood wrestling coach Scott Neil keeps a level head.
The Bobcats dominated their senior recognition night against Piper and Perry-Lecompton, Thursday, Feb. 6, but Neil was not excited about it. He said he expected the commanding performance.
"It's nice to win, but it's an empty win," Neil said. "We won, but (Perry-Lecompton and Piper) won't prepare us for the competition we'll face later on. Tonight won't really help our technique too much, but it might help our confidence."
The duals should not hurt the team's confidence as the Bobcats won 10 of 11 matches combined with nine pins. The Bobcats beat Perry-Lecompton in the first dual, 51-21, and beat Piper, 54-24, in the second.
The Bobcats started the evening against Perry-Lecompton. In a rare circumstance for the Bobcats this season, they had less open spots than their opponent. Basehor-Linwood had a 30-18 advantage because of the open weights.
Against Perry-Lecompton, seniors Sean Wells, Jeff Lackner, Brandon Buck and Albert King left little doubt that BLHS outmatched their opponent. Wells, Lackner and Buck had pins ,while King won, 10-7.
Unfortunately, for the Bobcats, the most exciting match ended in a loss. Sophomore Pete Brown let his match slip out of his grasp in the final moments, 10-9.
After a scoreless first period, Brown jumped to an 8-1 lead in the second period. Late in the second, the PLHS wrestler got a reversal and three back points to cut Brown's lead to two.
In the third period, Brown's opponent had another reversal to tie the match at eight. With 30 seconds left, Brown escaped to take the lead, 9-8, and appeared to have the match under control.
With two seconds left, Brown's opponent caught Brown in a headlock and threw him for a take down.
"Pete's basically a first-year wrestler," Neil said. "He has some things to learn. It just boils down to inexperience; it's not a lack of effort. You have to know that when you're up that late in the match, you stay away from your guy."
In their second match of the night, the Bobcats dominated even more. They won all six matches by pin. Seniors Tim Morgan, Wells, Lackner, Fish and King and sophomore Cody Bell recorded pins.
With little going wrong on senior night for the Bobcats, Lackner said he hopes the team can build on its success.
"We were really not being focused when we wrestled," Lackner said of the team's previous struggles. "We needed a good match to help our confidence. This could be a turning point for our team. We need to step it up in practice. We need to turn it around in time to step it up for the big tournaments coming up.
"I think we'll be regional and league champs," he said. "We're peaking at the right time."
Saturday, Feb. 15, the Bobcats will go to Piper for the Kaw Valley League Tournament. Wrestling starts at 10 a.m.