Bobcats look to build on last-second victory
56-54-Lansing leads with five seconds left. Basehor-Linwood inboundsthe ball to Chandler Schaake, who passes it up-the court to Anthony Pierce. Pierce's three dribbles and a one-handed running no-chance shot equal one thing: money.
And just like that, the Bobcats are 3-3 heading into Winter Break.
In two months, the last-second shot may be what players and coaches look back on when they recall the moment their season turned around.
After a lackluster performance at the Emporia Tournament, where Basehor-Linwood went 0-3 to drop to 1-3, the team won both games before break to even their record.
"I was probably as excited as I have ever been," coach Mike McBride said of his emotions when the shot went through the net. "It was a very emotional win. For the first time in a long time I celebrated a regular season win.
He was proud of the way his team responded after the Emporia tournament, with consecutive wins over Mill Valley an d Lansing.
"We fell on our faces, fell out of the rankings, and we bounced back. I was proud of that."
McBride said he was hoping for a 3-3 record before Winter Break at the start of the season. While the staff thought they could grab a win in Emporia, they didn't know that they could get one in Lansing.
"I knew Lansing would be tough at their place. I actually didn't think we'd come out of there with a win," McBride said. "Our kids played very tough. They are 6'7' and 6'5' inside and they give us some match-up problems. That was a big game. I give Lansing credit-they are a well coached team. To come out of there with a win, against a team trying to dethrone us as league champions, was big. We played our hearts out. We deserved that shot. We deserved to win."
The Bobcats are now 3-0 Kaw Valley League play. McBride said the team's record isn't important-not nearly as important as its preparation for sub-state.
"Our motto this year is that everyone is coming after us," McBride said. "If we play as hard as we played against Mill Valley and Lansing, we will be ready to go. We can't take a night off. We are trying to teach the kids that as favorites, sometimes that's the way it is. In sub-state there are no favorites. I'ts do or die every game."
The team was propelled over the last two games by center Jacob Schierbaum, who scored 17 points each against Mill Valley and Lansing.
"I think the number one thing is the play of Jacob Schierbaum," McBride said. "He had some beautiful moves against Lansing. He is doing things that he has done in practice for three years. To see them in games is a great thing. If he continues to be that good, we will be tough to beat with Swafford running around. I told Jacob he will never leave Basehor-Linwood thinking he didn't get his opportunity. He is going to get the ball."
Schierbaum was helped by Swafford, who scored 13 points.Pierce, who hit four three-pointers en route to 12 and the game winner, and Chandler Schaake, who scored 8.
Additionally, McBride said Alex Ziegler is playing good defense. Scott Ogilvie is getting better and better while chipping in five or six points a game to go with his offensive rebounding prowess.
The Bobcats took time off for Christmas and resume practice on Friday. They will hold a few 2-a-days, for, as McBride labeled it, a "reminder about what happened at Emporia."
"Some people look at that like punishment," McBride said. "It isn't. My kids understand it. We don't punish anybody. They look at me wide-eyed, but it is a reminder. We will have reminders so that we never play like we did at the Emporia Tournament ever again. They know I won't ever forget that."
The coach, however, said he has been impressed with how hard the team has worked since the poor performance.
"It should help us in the long run," McBride said of the Emporia Tournament. "I haven't had my rear end kicked like that in a long time. Usually my teams always compete. The adversity should help us. That's why I got so excited against Lansing. Going into Christmas Break, that was a huge confidence boost. Everyone was talking about us losing Austin Knipp. Sometimes it takes time to find your identity-it took us four games. To find it before Christmas Break is huge. The players know their roles. "
The Bobcats' next game is Jan. 4 at Perry-Lecompton; a team that is ranked third in 4A and has a 6-0 record.
"It will be a hard fought game," McBride said. "We have never played good there. I know they will come after us. We need to strap it up and play. They are ranked in the state and have a lot to prove. Everybody has been talking about how soft their schedule is, but 6-0 is 6-0. They will be ready to play."