Lady Bobcats impressive in victory over Lions
The Basehor-Linwood girls basketball season was at a crossroads Friday evening in Lansing. After beginning the season 6-1, the Lady Bobcats had dropped four of their last five, and three straight.
BLHS came out firing, not missing a field goal attempt in the first quarter, and defeated the Lions 51-41.
It was sweet redemption for the Lady 'Cats, who were able to keep Lansing at arm's length for the duration of the second half after experiencing two heartbreaking late-game losses to Tonganoxie last week.
"This was a nice win for us," coach Tami Holthus said. "It was a road game, and a league game. We needed to finish a game, and I am pleased with the way that they finished that game."
The players were just relieved to be back in the win column.
"It gave us a lot of confidence going into next week and the rest of our season," point guard Brooke Sanders said. "Coming off three losses in a row, it was very helpful for us. We know that we can do it. Last Friday's game was a heartbreaker. We responded well from that, and we are going to keep going."
BLHS first possession of the game resulted in a ten-second violation after they failed to get the ball over the mid-court line in time.
After that, the offense caught fire, and they led 15-8 at the end of the first.
Lansing battled back in the second quarter, cutting the halftime lead to 23-19. BLHS clamped down defensively in the second half while continuing to put points on the board. On the day the Lions were held to 25 percent shooting from the field, 14-for-56.
"That is a good team, and they have some good shooters," Holthus said. "We play very hard defensively, and I am very pleased with their effort. That is an emphasis for us."
Lansing attempted to trap throughout the game to force the issue of defense. Holthus was happy with her team's ability to control the ball.
"We showed a lot of toughness on the road," Holthus said. "They brought a lot of pressure. They tried to trap us all over the court."
After initial difficulty with the aggressive defense, BLHS had fully adapted by the second half.
"I think in the second half, we definitely took care of the ball better," Ashley Jeannin said.
The Lady Bobcats dominated the glass. Cassie Lombardino was the catalyst, finishing with 17 points and 19 rebounds. The entire Lansing team combined for 22 boards.
"She was a warrior on the boards," Holthus said.
Lombardino was also money at the free throw line, finishing 9-for-11.
Sanders had eight points, two rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
Ashley Jeannin scored 11 points and grabbed three rebounds.
"She continues to take her game to the next level," Holthus said. "She has always done all the dirty work for us. She has been willing to get in and rebound, and guard the other team's best shooters, and other things that don't get noticed.
"I am really pleased to see her get opportunities offensively. She is really starting to become an offensive threat."
Jeannin, normally a complementary player on the offensive end, wasn't forcing the issue.
"I don't know if (scoring) was the first thing on my mind, but I am always trying to be more of an offensive threat," Jeannin said. "I was just trying to play, not thinking about it, necessarily."
Jeannin has carved out a niche as a player who does the little things necessary for victory. She enjoys being able to chip in on the offensive end as well.
"I think I do things that not everyone notices," Jeannin said. "But scoring is good, too!"
The victory was nice, but the focus was quickly changed
"We are just trying to take it one game at a time," Holthus said. "Who's next?"
The Lady Bobcats will travel to Mill Valley on Friday, Feb. 9 for a 6 p.m. tipoff with the Lady Jaguars.