Basehor-Linwood girls celebrate senior night with KVL title
A loud shriek could be heard coming from the Basehor-Linwood girls basketball team's locker room on Friday night.
They had just heard good news that Mill Valley High had defeated Tonganoxie. As a result Basehor-Linwood was the Kaw Valley League champions for the first time in school history.
Players burst out the locker room and told coach Noah Simpson who was doing an interview.
He sprinted inside and chaos ensued. For the next 20 minutes, the reality began to set in, the Bobcats were Kaw Valley League champs.
Players made their way through the crowd and told family members who congratulated them.
Then, the announcement was made over the public address system and the crowd erupted in applause and yells. Nothing, though, matched the initial reaction.
"That is the most excited I have seen these girls, they were pounding on lockers, screaming and crying," Simpson said. "They had worked so hard for this and to be league champs and 19-1 is huge. To finally accomplish it is just a wonderful accomplishment."
The Bobcats finished 19-1 in the regular season and completed a season sweep of Bonner Springs with the 62-52 victory.
Cassie Lombardino led the team with 23 points and also had a pair of pivotal blocks in the game. She led all scorers.
Michelle Chrisman finished with 12 points including a pair of three pointers to lead the attack and the Cats march to victory.
Basehor-Linwood outscored Bonner Springs 25-15 in the second quarter, which was the difference in the basketball game.
"We knew with it being senior night that it would be tough for us to focus for 32 minutes so we wanted one solid quarter and then hoped that would get us through," Simpson said. "Which is what we did."
Bonner Springs battled back in the second half, but could not cut into the lead when they had opportunities. Basehor-Linwood prevented Bonner Springs from ever going on a big run to make the game closer.
Bonner Springs was led in scoring by Kelsey Stanbrough who finished the game with 15 points. Chelsea Crouch finished the game with 11 points and Felisha Leipard scored 10 points.
"That is what we have been talking about all year, having three girls finish in double figures, that is what it takes," coach Clay Oakes said.
With 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Simpson subbed out his five seniors one more time. He also started the game with six seniors on the court, risking a technical foul, but said the players were deserving of the honor.
"It was definitely the seniors night, we did everything we could for the seniors," Simpson said. "I couldn't be more proud of the girls. I grew up with these six seniors and they did with me."
Simpson said he couldn't decide which player to not start so he risked getting a technical foul. Bonner Springs coach Clay Oakes decided not to pursue the technical.
Oakes said he was pleased with the way his team played in the basketball game. The girls never stopped trying.
Now, the season starts over for both teams.
"We are 0-0 and you have to win two to go to state," Oakes said.