Archive for Thursday, December 1, 2005

Lady ‘Cats set to usher in new era

First-year coach anxious to open season

December 1, 2005

The Basehor-Linwood High School girls basketball team won't have to wait long to see how it stacks up against some of the top competition in the area.

The Lady Bobcats open their season Thursday, Dec. 1 against Pembroke Hill, the reigning Missouri Class 3 state champions. Pembroke's Lady Raiders went 27-3 last year, feature a returning post player who was an honorable mention All-American, and senior point guard Kaniesha Agee, who recently signed to play Division I basketball at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

If the Lady Bobcats show that they can compete with a team like Pembroke, it would seem that no one on the schedule would be out of their league.

"It'll be a great challenge for us, a great test," BLHS coach Tami Holthus said.

In her first year as BLHS head coach, Holthus said she's more concerned with her team just showing improvement from game to game, rather than the win-loss record. But the team's 10-11 mark last season was one of its best in years, and if it continues improving, the wins should come.

"I told the girls the only expectation I have is that we get better every day," Holthus said. "If we do that, I guess I am expecting great things."

Holthus said she would like to run the floor this year, especially early in games. However, she added that how fast the Lady 'Cats would play would depend on how well they were able to take care of the ball in transition.

Basehor-Linwood will likely mix things up this year defensively, throwing in a little zone and a little full-court press now and then. But Holthus said the base of her defensive philosophy was playing solid man-to-man.

"The ability to play man-to-man is a fundamental skill of basketball," Holthus said. "Without that ability you're not going to be successful defensively no matter what you play. So, we'll spend a lot of time developing man-to-man skills, but we'll play a wide variety of defenses."

With a new coach and new offensive and defensive systems, the Lady Bobcats' opponents might not know what to expect, which could work in BLHS' favor. But the flip slide of that is that Holthus is new to the Kaw Valley League and will have a lot of scouting to do to get familiar with each team. But that, too, could turn out to be a positive, as she promised she wouldn't take anyone lightly.

"We'll treat every opponent with great respect," Holthus said.

The Lady 'Cats' season starts at home on Dec. 1. The junior varsity is scheduled to tip off at about 5:45 p.m. and the varsity at about 7:30 p.m.

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