Lady ‘Cats triumphant!!!
Basehor-Linwood girls beat Bonner Springs for first time in 6 seasons
Brooke Sanders and the Lady Bobcats started a new chapter in the Basehor-Linwood versus Bonner Springs story last Thursday. Sanders made two free throws with nine seconds left to lead BLHS to a 53-51 victory over BSHS in a back-and-forth contest worthy of the two schools' rivalry.
The Lady Cats and Bravettes traded leads the whole game, though their styles of play were remarkably different. Basehor was intent on pounding the ball inside where 6-foot sophomore Brianna Beebe and 6-foot-1 freshman Cassie Lombardino had a significant size advantage. Bonner's offense came mostly from the perimeter, as four Bravettes combined for nine three-pointers.
Bonner Springs jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter, behind six points from junior Hilary Johnson. But Basehor responded with an 8-0 run. When Michelle Chrisman took a pass from Ashley Jeannin and hit a three-pointer from the wing to end the quarter, the game was tied at 10. Jeannin had five assists in the game.
Basehor took the lead in the second quarter when freshman Shannon Carlin took control. Carlin delivered an assist to Beebe and drove for a layup on the right side on consecutive possessions. Then she converted a layup from the left side while getting hammered and made the free throw to finish the three-point play. She added a three-pointer and another free throw on the next two possessions, scoring all nine of her points in an incredible two-minute stretch.
"Shannon is an awesome athlete," BLHS coach Mardy Robinson said. "We just brought her up to play varsity last week. That was her second varsity game."
Carlin's stretch of dominance gave the Lady Cats a 25-21 lead going into halftime, but they had trouble holding off the Bravettes' three-point barrage. Chase Crouch made two triples in the third quarter and was one of three Bravettes to make more than one three-pointer in the game. Johnson, a junior, had two and Kelsey Stanbrough, a freshman, had four and led all scorers with 19 points.
Morgan Kenney came up big when Basehor needed her, scoring seven of her nine points in the second half, one of several Lady Cats who made clutch contributions. Chrisman erased a 47-44 deficit with a three and moments later made two free throws to give her team a 49-48 lead. Basehor senior Samantha Paterson was frustrated by foul trouble most of the game, but made a big free throw of her own to make it 50-48 with less than a minute to play.
Bonner whipped the ball around the perimeter on its next possession, desperate for a big shot. The Bravettes got it when Johnson came off a screen and launched a three-pointer from the top of the key that ripped through the net with 14 seconds on the clock. The Bonner fans went crazy and it looked like a heartbreaking turn of events for the Lady Cats.
But Sanders, a freshman, had other ideas.
"I got the inbounds pass and I knew I wanted to try and draw a foul because we were in the bonus," Sanders said.
Sanders took the ball into the frontcourt on the right side and immediately cut to the hoop, drawing a blocking foul with nine seconds left. Paterson tried to take some of the pressure off her young teammate before she stepped to the line.
"I told her that it didn't matter if she missed them or made them because we were going to win anyway," Paterson said.
But Sanders wanted to take matters into her own hands.
"I was thinking that I had to make those free throws because I really wanted to beat Bonner," she said. "We hadn't beat them in five years."
With the Bonner fans screaming for a miss and the Basehor crowd quietly looking on, Sanders calmly knocked down both free throws.
"Brooke's one of those girls who kind of has ice running through her veins," Robinson said. "She hit the big shot for us to beat Mill Valley earlier in the year too. Just another opportunity for her, I guess."
The Bravettes got the ball to Stanbrough with one last chance to win the game, but Paterson slid over to help defend her and Stanbrough had to force up a shot from just inside the three-point line.
The ball caromed off the backboard and Lombardino secured the rebound and was fouled with one second left. She hit one free throw and missed the second on purpose, giving the Bravettes no chance at a desperation heave. As the final horn sounded the Lady Cats celebrated the rekindling of a rivalry.
For more on Robinson's first victory over Bonner Springs, see related story on Page 3B.