Archive for Wednesday, November 26, 2003

10 days ‘til tip-off

Bobcats ready to hit the hardwood for hoops season

November 26, 2003

It's usually a good sign when a high school coach is asked to name a few strong returning players and hesitates because it will take too long to list them all off.

That's the enviable position Basehor-Linwood boys basketball coach Bruce Courtney found himself in last week.

"We've got a big core of seniors and a lot of returning juniors, too," Courtney said. "There's quite a few in both categories."

In terms of varsity experience Courtney said his team would have as much as most teams, with the possible exception of De Soto, who he said would be returning "just about everybody."

Courtney said his team's experience should help it improve on a last season. The Bobcats beat Mill Valley and Immaculata, two strong teams, early in the year but finished with just four victories.

"We struggled, so that's the year in a nutshell," Courtney said. "Our team was better than the record said."

He highlighted Mill Valley, Lansing, Piper and De Soto as teams he thought would be vastly improved and tough to beat. But he added that he expected the entire league to be strong from top to bottom.

"No game will be an automatic win, but there shouldn't be any game we can't go out and win, either," Courtney said. "With what we've got back we should be right in the thick of things."

What the Bobcats are getting back are enough experienced players at different positions to adapt to any kind of game.

They have enough speed in the backcourt to run and gun and enough size in the frontcourt to bang and bruise with opponents.

Not only are the players physically gifted, they've also been preparing in the off season. Courtney said many of them played in summer and fall leagues. But like most teams, the Bobcats aren't quite up to game speed yet. Courtney made sure they were working on that in practice last week and expected some of them to be a little worse for wear until they got their legs back.

"They'll probably find out tonight they're not in as good of shape as they thought," Courtney said.

Courtney added that fatigue wouldn't be a problem once the season started, as the team would be able to go more than five or six players deep. Ask him just how many players and who they are and he might say he doesn't have the time to list them all off. He's busy getting ready for an exciting season. Basehor fans will just have to wait and see.

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