Postseason tune-up no problem for Basehor-Linwood boys
Basehor-Linwood boys basketball coach Mike McBride spoke last week about getting his team ready for sub-state through scheduling.
Not wanting a late-season cupcake, Sumner was placed strategically near the end of the schedule to give the Bobcats a tune-up before post-season play.
Even before the test, BLHS faced some unpleasant circumstances. Practice was canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday because of snow.
Despite the obstacles, and a slow start, the Bobcats proved they were ready for the competition, beating Sumner Academy 60-47 Saturday in Basehor.
"We weren't in real great game shape, because we didn't get to practice," McBride said. "We were trying to get back in game shape, I think that was the reason we didn't start out well in the first quarter. We looked focused. We played at our pace all night long."
The Sabres led 9-8 at the conclusion of the first quarter. They pushed their lead to 21-15 with three and a half minutes left in the second quarter. Basehor-Linwood controlled the game from there on out, ripping off an 11-0 run to head into halftime with a 26-21 lead.
"We just started hitting shots," McBride said of the change in momentum. "We came out a little nervous. We were taking too much time to pass the ball and weren't moving it very quick.
"Basehor has never beaten Sumner from what I understand, and we were just making silly plays, committing silly turnovers. We hit some shots, and figured out we could play."
Sumner opened in a full court press, and continued to pressure the ball throughout.
McBride will use this defensive strategy as a teaching tool. The Bobcats will see it again.
"Just putting good ball pressure on us," McBride said. "We don't play slow, but we don't want to play out of control either. Any team that wants to press or play faster than we like to play, we showed we can do a good job playing at our pace."
Swafford finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. Matt Fanning dished out a career-high six assists. Jacob Schierbaum pulled down nine rebounds.
"He rebounded a lot better," McBride said of Schierbaum. "Sometimes when we watch tape, we can't find him because he is boxing out so hard. He is figuring everything out."
McBride stressed the importance of the interior play to his team before the game. Sumner Academy, an undersized but quick team, was susceptible inside.
"The three post players went out and did what they had to do," McBride said.
Jon VanderVelde scored three points, grabbed six rebounds, and blocked three shots off the bench.
"He played very, very well," McBride said. "He had two blocked shots in a row. He was our energy. He went out there and got after it."