BLHS players rest before season opener
After putting in more than 30 hours of practice in 12 days, Basehor-Linwood basketball players got three out of four days off to "get our legs back," according to coach Mike McBride, for the season-opening game against Tonganoxie on Friday.
"Our progress was good the first week, but we were worn out last week," McBride said. "That is fine as we have been working on mental toughness as much as anything and the kids still accomplished some things. That shows some growth and maturity from last season. We could not gone through some of the practices last year that we have done this year and still been productive."
McBride said the team has been working on all facets of the game during practice.
"It is nice as we do most of our fundamental work during the summer," McBride said. "We have worked on some of our weaknesses, but fundamentally we are pretty strong. So, we have been working on getting everything in before the first game this season. We have two more defenses, a couple of sets and some inbounds to work on this week. We will also work on special situations."
McBride has been impressed with the Bobcats in practice thus far, saying the team had improved in most aspects of the game from last year.
"Overall we shoot better and our inside game has improved," McBride said. "Our defense looks very solid and our court sense has improved. Chemistry is always an issue when a new season starts, so that would be one thing that will need to improve as the year moves on."
The team's increased emphasis on scoring inside will be one change from last season.
"We stressed going inside, but there was not a lot of trust with that yet," McBride said. "We have seen a big improvement from the guards and post players trusting each other. We are still very diverse. We will look to run when it is there, but we can grind out a game if we need to."
All of which will benefit the Bobcat's center, Jacob Schierbaum, has been the most impressive player in practice this season, McBride said.
"He is finishing well in practice and we are hoping it carries over to a game," McBride said. "Alex Ziegler has looked very confident shooting the ball. If he continues to shoot with confidence, we will have a great outside shooter. I really like where Justin Gripka and Mitch Mallon have taken their games. I am not sure where they will fit in early, but with Gripka's ability to shoot and Mallon's improvement in understanding his role, they make our bench very good."
McBride said he was impressed with how everyone has improved and approached this season and that it will improve the team's chances of going to state.
McBride is unsure what Tonganoxie will bring on Friday.
"All I can tell you about Tongie is that they will have some new players out there," McBride said. "They are always scrappy. They played us all man last season, but played zone the year before. We will prepare for everything. We will prepare for them to try and slow us down and we will prepare for them to come into our place and win their first game of the season. This is one of those first games that is a little scary because we have no idea what their personnel will bring."
McBride said his team will not get caught up in the rivalry stuff.
"Every game is a rivalry to us and we are going to get everyone's best game this season, so I am not sure who is a rivalry and who isn't," McBride said. "Emotions are always high in the first game, so I don't think it matters who you play. We are just trying to win and if that means we win by one point, then we will take it!"
All of which makes it a safe bet to assume the Bobcats will be fully prepared on Friday.
"I can't wait until game time," McBride said. "I have been waiting for this since our two point loss last season to Baldwin. I believe we will be very focused."