Basehor boys discuss KVL, postseason play
The beginning of the season was a nightmare. Basehor-Linwood started 3-4, eliciting questions about the team's strength even though the early season schedule was brutal. The Bobcats were beat up, notably in the Emporia Tournament, and it was fair to wonder whether the team was equipped to defend its Kaw Valley League title.
Those concerns are a thing of the past. The team has won eight straight contests and is looking almost as impressive against the KVL as they did last year.
"The streak isn't as important as playing hard," coach Mike McBride said. "We just have to get better for sub-state. We still haven't had everyone come and play well. That is what we are talking about. Everybody has to bring it every night so we can play well at the end of the year."
The team has been playing so well that McBride at times has to nit-pick performances to critique his team.
For instance, the coach said last week against Tonganoxie, a game BLHS comfortably won, that his team played flat. He has also lamented lackadaisical defensive effort or poor offensive execution after victories during the streak.
The winning streak has put the team in a good situation. If they win out, they will win the KVL. McBride said the team is in a good position to grab the third seed in sub-state.
"Winning the league is fun because you get to put the sign up on the wall," McBride said. "But I've been here for four years and from the first day I got here I said our goal was to get to state."
Last year, the Bobcats league title and undefeated KVL record went for naught after the team was shocked by Baldwin in sub-state's second round.
"Last year we looked scared in sub-state," McBride said. "We didn't want it to end; we were having a good season. This year you can tell our goal is to go to state."
Tanner Swafford said he would much prefer a berth into the state tournament to a KVL championship.
"All the games we play right now are a warm-up for sub-state," Swafford said. "We want to keep winning and put up a league title while we go to state."
A lot of talk around the team has concerned peaking. Scott Ogilvie said the team peaked early last year, playing its best game of the year against Piper and then regressing. Ogilvie said the team hasn't peaked yet, a sentiment that McBride and Swafford agree with.
"Even tonight we had a couple guys that didn't play there best game," McBride said after Friday night's victory against Lansing. "So no, we haven't peaked yet. That is a good feeling. You can tell every game that we keep getting better and better and better."
Still, Chandler Schaake said after the game he hopes the team doesn't peak too early.
It's likely no one will know when this year's Bobcat team peaked until the season is over. The winning streak, however, has given credence to pre-season thoughts that BLHS was a contender.
Ogilvie, in particular, is very confident about his team's fortunes.
"I think we are going to have that momentum going into sub-state and be the team to beat," he said. "Our team is great and my teammates are great. We believe we can win state. That has been our goal since the start of the season. I think that is very realistic."