Benton outlasts Bobcats in 1st round
Fresh off their first league win, against Tonganoxie last Friday, the BLHS boys basketball team faced St. Joe Benton, in the first round of the Bobcat Classic. The Bobcats were only able to muster a first half showing and lost 55-36.
Fundamentally the Bobcats matched up very well with St. Joe Benton, but the experience of St. Joe's showed through, and they dominated all of the second half.
"We just expended too much energy tonight," Bobcats coach Mike McBride said. "Their experience just kind of overtook us."
Lead by eight first half points, senior Joel VanderVelde showed what kind of player he could be. VanderVelde had a big height advantage in the post, where he scored all of his baskets.
Down by only four at the half, the Bobcats found themselves within striking distance of the St. Joe team, but went ice cold in the third quarter, and were unable to hit single a field goal.
"They came out and trapped us a lot more in the second half," McBride said. "Instead of helping out, we just tried to dribble right though it."
St. Joes recognized the mismatch in the paint with VanderVelde and simply denied him the ball. Other Bobcats were forced to take shots from the perimeter, and nothing was falling.
It seemed all too familiar to the Bobcat players. They got close to staying in a ball game against a good team and just fell short. In all their losses this season the Bobcats were unable to hold off one big run, and the same was the case against St. Joe.
Having trouble with St. Joe's trap zone, the Bobcats turned the ball over, and it wasn't until there was 3:39 left in the game when senior Nichalas Box scored the first basket of the second half.
"We weren't getting any good looks," McBride said. "We needed to get the ball into Joel and we couldn't do that."
The Bobcats didn't have any high hopes of winning the tournament, and are looking to just improve with every game. The team is still riding a big league win, and looks to continue to make adjustments as the Bobcat Invitational continues throughout the week.