Basehor-Linwood season ends with first-round sub-state loss at Eudora
Every basketball team has off nights, when even the good shots just won't seem to go in. Unfortunately for Basehor-Linwood High School, the girls team had one of those games Monday night, and it just happened to fall on the same night as the opening round of the sub-state playoffs.
The Lady Bobcats lost at Eudora 58-40 in what turned out to be the last game of the season. An 11-minute scoring drought early in the game doomed their chances of advancing to the next round.
"I'm not sure that we were mentally ready to start that game, all the way down the roster," BLHS coach Tami Holthus said.
Basehor-Linwood looked ready out of the gate, but only for about the first minute. Brooke Sanders drilled a three-pointer from the corner on the first possession and Michelle Chrisman found Bren Koontz for a layup the next time down to put the team up 5-0. Koontz, a freshman, provided a spark off the bench for most of the season, but was in the starting lineup against Eudora after closing the regular season with a string of outstanding games.
"She gives us a little more offense and has done a great job at both ends of the floor," Holthus said.
Koontz gave the Lady 'Cats an early spark, but it was short-lived. After scoring five points in the game's first minute, the team couldn't find a point in the next 11 minutes. The Cardinals lacked height but made up for it with a physical, aggressive style defensively.
The Cardinals' defense stepped up considerably after the first minute and they quickly erased the five-point deficit behind the shooting of senior Michelle Deluna. Deluna dropped a couple of threes and the Cardinals went up 15-5 during the Bobcats' cold spell.
Although Koontz was then able to get to the free throw line and score, the Bobcats never fully recovered from the 10-0 run the Cardinals put on them. They were fortunate to still be in the game at halftime, down just 20-11. They had hit only three shots from the field, but were able to get in the bonus early and make some free throws before the break.
The offensive woes continued, though, during the pivotal third quarter. Eudora outscored BLHS 15-6 in the quarter to take a 35-17 lead. That was a lead that the Cardinals, who finished the regular season 15-5, were unlikely to relinquish.
To the Lady 'Cats credit, they never gave up. They put up 23 points in the final quarter, driving their way to the free throw line time and again. But there was no stopping the Cardinals, who also scored 23. They went up 20 points on BLHS three times, but the Lady 'Cats seemed determined to never let the game stay that far out of hand. They answered each 20-point deficit with an immediate basket, including two three-pointers.
Still, that was little consolation to Holthus and the Lady Bobcats, who faced a difficult first-round match-up for a team with a 10-10 regular season record. They just ended up in a tough sub-state field where they got a sixth seed and the Cardinals got a three.
"This is a very good team and they did a nice job against us tonight," Holthus said.
Sanders led the Lady Bobcats with 14 points, hitting two three-pointers and all six of her free throws. Koontz, who finished with 10 points, was the only other Bobcat in double figures, and also had three steals. Cassie Lombardino led in rebounds with nine and Chrisman led in assists, with three and steals, with four.