Bobcats flat after emotional semifinal contest
On Thursday night, the Basehor-Linwood boy's basketball team came within one possession of advancing to the championship round in the Bobcat Invitational. After losing a thriller, a clearly deflated Bobcats team started slow and couldn't recover Saturday in the third-place game, losing 57-50 to Fort Scott.
"I am just very frustrated," coach Mike McBride said. "That is not one of the better Fort Scott teams that I have seen. I just thought if we came in and tried to fight through our emotional downs from losing the other night we would be all right.
"We didn't do a good job of that. It was a big emotional game, and I just didn't think we came in ready. That will happen."
Fort Scott jumped out early and secured a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The Bobcats got a pair of three-pointers by Austin Knipp and Anthony Pierce and took their only lead of the game with two minutes left in the first quarter, 10-8. The period ended at 12-10, Fort Scott.
The Tigers continued to add to their lead in the second quarter. By halftime, the lead had swelled to 25-14 after a 12-2 run near the end of the first half.
The Bobcats wouldn't regain their footing into the final period. Entering the fourth quarter, Fort Scott was dominating, 44-26.
Basehor-Linwood's offense finally came alive in the final stanza. So did their defense. The Bobcat's employed a full court press to force the issue. They outscored the Tigers 24-13 in the fourth, but came up seven points short.
"(We were) fighting for our lives," McBride said of the final quarter. "They knew they didn't play very well. They have a lot of pride. They wanted to have a good showing. They want to get over the top and get to the state tournament, and they aren't going to just lie down and die."
McBride saw vast defensive improvements after the Bobcats unveiled the full-court press.
"Our pressure really bothered them, and I thought they were a better ball handling team than that. It wasn't in our scouting report to do that," McBride said.
Point guard Chandler Schaake recognized that the team's late effort was a case of too little, too late.
"We didn't do very well at all in the first half," Schaake said. "In the third quarter we kind of got back in. In the fourth, that is how we should have been playing the entire game."
The sophomore gave a simple answer for why the team started without the same energy that the crowd had seen two nights previous.
"Last game we gave it our all..." he said, his voice trailing.
This was the first time this season that McBride had seen his team at such a low point emotionally.
"We were very flat," McBride said. "These kids wanted to win so badly. I know they want to win; we just didn't come with our best game. Emotionally we were very down.
Schaake finished with 12 points. He abandoned his usual game of distributing the ball in the second half and started to look for his offense.
"I tried to speed it up, get everyone else involved," Schaake said of the first half. "Nothing was happening, really. I tried to do something, I guess."
Tanner Swafford recorded another double-double, finishing with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Austin Knipp had eight points and three steals and Scott Ogilvie had a pair of blocked shots off the bench.