Basehor-Linwood falls to 0-7 after 2 lopsided defeats
It's a testament to the strength of the Kaw Valley League boys basketball teams that Piper came into Tuesday's game against Basehor-Linwood with a 2-5 record.
The Pirates looked nothing like a team three games under .500 as they completely dismantled the Bobcats, 81-36.
The Bobcats' seventh loss of the season came four nights after a 68-50 loss to arch-rival Bonner Springs.
Like they have in several games this season, BLHS fell behind early in its loss to the Braves and was never able to recover.
In the Piper contest, the story was the same. Cody Herbster hit a three-pointer on the Bobcats' first possession to put the team up 3-2, but it would be the only lead BLHS would have. The rest of the first quarter was disastrous. The Bobcats committed nine turnovers and allowed 14 points in the paint as Piper went up 20-3 at the first break.
"I don't know what happened," Herbster said. "We weren't playing as a team. Everyone was doing their own thing."
The second quarter was the most competitive as senior Garyn Gorup came in and gave Basehor a lift. Gorup finished with two blocked shots and a team-high seven rebounds in the game, much of it coming in the second quarter.
Even so, Basehor couldn't close the gap, getting outscored 18-12.
The second half provided no relief. BLHS cleaned up the offense, committing just five turnovers in the half, but managed just 21 points as the shots just wouldn't fall. Basehor finished just 16 of 61 from the field, or 26 percent, and compounded their offensive woes by going 1-8 from the free throw line.
"Here's how it went -- on our end even fairly decent shots don't go in, and then we go down and seem to make a pretty good defensive stop, but a pass ricochets off someone and goes for a lay up," coach Bruce Courtney said. "It's frustrating when those things happen, it tenses you up and I think that's what happened to us."
In contrast, the Pirates were rarely frustrated on the offensive end. Ten different players scored and five of them had eight points or more. Piper senior Mike Simmons had 16 and 6-foot-9 junior Leo Criswell led the way with 19. Criswell added some footage to his personal highlight reel with two thunderous dunks, one an alley-oop. He also stepped out and hit a three-pointer in the second quarter.
The Bobcats were led by John Shumaker with six points. Shumaker came off the bench with a solid all-around performance, including five rebounds, two blocks, two steals and three assists. He combined with junior guard Mike Armstrong to assist on eight of Basehor's 16 field goals.
After the game, Herbster said the loss was due to breakdowns in both execution and effort.
"The effort was there off and on," Herbster said. "But we haven't been able to get that effort together as a team for a full game yet. It's just been in spurts."
With almost a week off before the next game, Courtney has plenty of time to address what went wrong.
"We're going to try and recoup," Courtney said. "I don't think we're going to change anything from what we have been working on.
"Shooting and passing we've been working on a lot and that will continue, and we've got to just believe that it's just going to start coming together soon."
"We always feel like we can be competitive," Herbster added. "We're down but not out. We're not giving up."