Archive for Thursday, February 2, 2006

Imac brings back memory of halfcourt shot

February 2, 2006

When James Bishop saw the Immaculata Raiders on Tuesday it had to bring back some good memories. Earlier in the year Bishop had a strong game against the Raiders that included a once-in-a-lifetime shot. The Bobcats lost the game by three, but it probably wouldn't have been that close without the spark Bishop provided.

After a rough season opener, Bishop made his mark in the next game against Immaculata. He hit a buzzer-beater from halfcourt to cut the Raiders lead to 10 at halftime.

Bishop said he doesn't practice such shots, but with the way the ball arched high and swished cleanly through the net, it sure looked like he does.

"Just heave it up there and try and get it high enough," Bishop said of his strategy. "I don't know if there's really an art to shooting the half court shot."

Wherever the shot came from, it helped erase the bad taste left over from the season opener against Pleasant Ridge. In that game Bishop struggled with turnovers and didn't score until the Rams had put things pretty much out of reach. The senior looked much more at ease in the friendly confines of the BLHS gym when Imac came to town.

"You always have that home court advantage that kicks in and I like that," Bishop said. "First game jitters got to me too -- I think I was too psyched for the game, had too high expectations for myself. Once I knew how everything was kind of working on the court it kind of settled me down for the next game."

Bishop's performance in the loss to Imac was encouraging, as he chipped in seven points and four assists. He followed that up with eight points, including two three-pointers, and three assists against Lansing.

He was obviously enjoying the home court advantage again in last week's Bobcat Invitational. Against Pembroke Hill he went for seven points, one block, one rebound and one assist. Two days later he had seven points, three assists and three steals in a 56-35 victory over Holton.

Throughout the season Bishop has shown a propensity to play very solid most of the time, but has been plagued by stretches where he seems a bit careless with the ball.

"That's what we're working on with him," Basehor-Linwood coach Mike McBride said after the Lansing game. "He has a tendency to coast, but he, obviously tonight, showed that he can be a very good ballplayer when he wants to be."

If the Bobcats are to improve on last year's 5-16 record, Bishop would appear to be an important piece of the puzzle.

His outside shooting gives Basehor-Linwood another scoring threat and opens up driving lanes for Austin Knipp and post space for Jacob Schierbaum.

And, if any of the games come down to a deep heave just before the horn, Bishop has already shown he can deliver.

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