Bonner Springs outlasts Bobcats
Before Basehor-Linwood's boys' basketball game against Bonner Springs, Friday, Feb. 21, the Bobcats were already at a disadvantage.
First, Basehor-Linwood had to deal with the memory of their crushing defeat at the hands of Bonner Springs earlier in the year, 95-51. Second, back up post player, sophomore Kyle Speichinger would not be able to play after missing two practices because of a slight knee injury.
If that was not enough, Bobcats' head coach, Bruce Courtney was not on Basehor-Linwood's bench.
The man who took over for him, assistant coach Lance Custer, said Courtney wanted to be at the game, but family matters prevented him.
So, in his first game as a varsity head coach, Custer faced one of the best teams in the Kaw Valley League without a full team. To some, this situation would have been nerve-wracking, but Custer said he was comfortable with the position.
"I had a lot of confidence," Custer said. "Coach Courtney and the players have a lot of confidence in me, so it was not a big deal."
Taking over coaching responsibilities may not have been a big deal, but trying to slow down Bonner Springs was.
Despite Basehor-Linwood's best efforts, Bonner Springs ran away with another victory, 58-34, never trailing in the game.
Custer noted the team's performance was better than the last time the two teams met.
"I just asked from them to give effort," Custer said. "I ask for 110 or 115 percent, and they gave it to me. The game ended the way it did, but they did what I asked."
The game started poorly for the Bobcats as Bonner Springs shot to a 10-2 lead.
An off-balance three-point shot by senior Brandon Dye and a layup by senior Eric Laffere cut the deficit to 10-7, but that was as close as the Bobcats would get.
Bonner Springs expanded its lead again, and it stayed around a 10-point margin until the fourth quarter.
Bonner Springs outscored Basehor-Linwood 21-9 in the period, extinguishing any Bobcat hopes of a comeback.
Dye sat out much of the third quarter with foul trouble, but liked the team's defensive effort.
"The defense was so much better than in our last game against them," Dye said. "Defense was a big positive, but we have a lot more to show that we didn't."
Offensively, no player was in double figures scoring. Senior Brian Gripka led the team with nine. Dye had seven.