Bobcats view tournament as opportunity to grow
Mike McBride isn’t saying much about his Basehor-Linwood boys basketball team four days before the players tip off the season.
“This is kind of one of those years where there is not a lot that I can tell you,” he said. “The guards are doing well. The kids are getting better. Until we play, you just never know what you will have to work on and whatever.”
Like a lot of area coaches, he is looking forward to playing a game.
The Bobcats will start the season differently than in previous years.
They will not play Friday, which is a switch from previous seasons. With the BLHS football program ascending and more players tied up with postseason games, McBride likes to have a full week of practice before the season begins.
Basehor-Linwood’s preseason tournament venue has also changed from going to the Emporia Invitational to the Central Heights Invitational, which will take place at Osawatomie High School.
Basehor-Linwood plays Osage City at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the opening round of the tournament. If the Bobcats win, they would play again on Friday, Dec. 12. With a loss the team would play again on Thursday, Dec. 11.
“We are not approaching it any differently than when we go to Emporia,” McBride said. “We are going to go and figure out what we have as a team. We are going to evaluate our players and see how we respond to things. Seeing how we do not have a game before the tournament, we want to win but we also want to see what (our) strengths and weaknesses are.”
Osage City won 17 games last season with a lot of youth and inexperience.
“It was supposed to be a rebuilding year and they are pleased with what they did,” McBride said. “They have three starters back. Their coach has been there for 15 years and had good teams. They will be well- coached. We can’t look past them. They compete hard and we have to be ready to play.”
McBride plans to play 10 players against Osage City.
“Hopefully all 10 will be ready to go and play all year long,” McBride said.
While he would like to see the team perform well, McBride is more eager to get a game of experience for his players, because it will begin the process of improvement.
“At the end of the year it is not about if you won that tournament or not,” he said.