Basehor-Linwood boys tack on 2 more victories
The Perry-Lecompton boys basketball team came to Basehor with one clear objective last Friday night: take away the offense of Austin Knipp and Tanner Swafford by any means necessary.
But Perry was instead treated to a shooting clinic by the Bobcats' secondary scoring options, who outgunned the Kaws 57-43.
Four nights later, the BLHS duo that Perry was so worried about combined to score 37 in a 48-45 victory over Bishop Ward.
Friday's contest was a game of pick-your-poison gone terribly wrong.
"If teams try to shut down Austin and Tanner, and leave the other kids open, we are going to score," coach Mike McBride said.
The Bobcats were 11-for-21 from beyond the three-point arc. Anthony Pierce was 2-for-2 from three-point land. Chandler Shockey and Matt Fanning each hit three treys, as well. Shockey had been 0-for-6 in three-point attempts on the season up until Friday night, and Fanning had been shooting 16 percent from beyond the arc.
"Those kids had been hitting threes in practice, they just hadn't been doing it in games," McBride said. "I was very confident. We have been talking about that over Christmas Break. In order to make it to state, a lot of teams will try to run everything through their best two players, but that isn't how I coach. I want us to be as difficult to guard as we can be, and the only way to do that is to develop everyone."
PLHS began the game in man-to-man defense. After the Bobcats jumped to a 10-2 lead to open the game, the Kaws called timeout and unveiled a zone. BLHS responded by knocking down nearly every open three-pointer it took.
The Bobcats had a 34-21 lead heading into halftime, having hit eight first half three-pointers.
After BLHS connected on three more three-pointers at the beginning of the second half, the Kaws again called timeout to regroup. They switched back to man-to-man in hopes of stemming the tide.
BLHS owned a 51-30 lead at the end of the third quarter, and pushed its lead as high as 24, 57-33, with five and a half minutes left in the fourth.
But BLHS had five turnovers in the last five minutes and didn't score a point, drawing the ire of their coach on an otherwise perfect evening.
"That is probably the last step," McBride said. "If we have the chance to take someone out, we need to put them away."
Chandler Shockey was the game's star, collecting 15 points and four assists on 63 percent shooting. It was a form of vindication for Shockey, who didn't play well against Perry-Lecompton last season.
"He played very well," McBride said. "Being a sophomore he has had a lot of pressure, because everyone has been telling him how good he is. I know he is very hard on himself. He played some AAU ball against some of their kids, so it was kind of a personal thing."
The rest of the Bobcats' scoring was evenly distributed. Tanner Swafford finished with 10 points, Austin Knipp and Matt Fanning each ended with nine, and Anthony Pierce had eight.
The Bobcats caused 15 turnovers. Knipp had four steals and six pass deflections.
"He was very active on defense," McBride said.
The Bobcats attempted 48 shots to the Kaws 32, a testament to BLHS's stingy defense and mastery of the boards.
"That was probably the game right there," McBride said of the shot differential. "Our man defense was all over the place."
In the Ward contest, it was the BLHS offense that led the way. The Bobcats erased a two-point fourth-quarter deficit by exploding for 20 in the final frame to take the victory.
The wins improved BLHS to 5-2 on the season, including 4-0 in Kaw Valley League play.