Lady ‘Cats stretch winning streak to 3
Bishop Ward, Perry-Lecompton the latest BLHS victims
The Basehor-Linwood High School girls basketball team got its third win in a row and sixth in the last eight games on Tuesday, defeating Bishop Ward 49-34. It was a watershed victory for the team in many ways, as it put the Lady Bobcats above .500 for the first time this season at 8-7 overall and 5-4 in the Kaw Valley League.
It was also the third straight double-digit victory for BLHS, although not nearly as dominant as the 49-22 victory over Perry-Lecompton last Friday. The Cyclones were able to hang around until the beginning of the fourth quarter, when the Bobcats opened things up with a scoring flurry.
"They were a hard team to put away," BLHS coach Tami Holthus said. "They're a physical team and we didn't always handle that how we need to."
Cassie Lombardino led the Lady Bobcats with 14 points, but the scoring came from all angles. Ten different players scored and most of their points came when Bishop Ward was still in the game.
The Lady 'Cats showcased their depth early, as nine different players had already gotten minutes by the end of the first quarter. The team led 13-5 thanks to seven bench points and outstanding defense. Megan O'Bryan made her presence felt immediately after checking in, nailing a long jumper and handing out two assists. Meanwhile, Bren Koontz teamed up with starter Shae Sawalich to shut down the Cyclones' leading scorer, Mary Marquardt.
"They played a big role, huge," Holthus said of her reserves. "They come in and give us a lot of energy defensively."
The Lady 'Cats kept Bishop Ward frustrated offensively for the entire first half, going into the locker room with a 22-11 lead. They forced eight turnovers and contested nearly every shot the Cyclones took.
Bishop Ward came alive a bit in the third quarter, cutting the lead to eight at one point. But Brooke Sanders made a big three to push it back to double-digits for good at 30-18. Sanders had a team-high six assists, teaming up with Lombardino on several inside hoops. Her three came on a reversal of that combination, as Lombardino recognized the double-team and passed it out to Sanders for the assist.
The Bobcats led 32-20 going into the fourth quarter and closed the door on the Cyclones within the first minute. Michelle Chrisman opened the quarter with a three for her first points of the game. On the next BLHS possession, Sanders took a pass from Chrisman and drove to the bucket, spinning in a layup as she was hammered by a Cyclone. She made the free throw and the Lady 'Cats led 38-22. They cruised the rest of the way.
The Lady Bobcats play again this Friday at Mill Valley, starting at 6 p.m.