Archive for Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Basehor basketball team’s play has increased expectation level at school

March 12, 2008

Given a couple weeks of hindsight to look back over the season, the pain in Basehor-Linwood coach Mike McBride's voice has subsided with a bit of resolve.

But the disappointment is still palpable. It was not long ago that the school's fan base would have clamored for a season that ended in a Kaw Valley League title and a 17-6 record. Times and expectations have changed and McBride knows it.

"Overall, it was a success," McBride said. "We won our first ever back-to-back league championships, going 24-1 over the last two years in our league with kids that hadn't had a whole lot of success in the program before they got to us. They leaned how to compete and win."

The team also won its home tournament midway through the year.

Basehor-Linwood's season ended with a 62-42 loss to St. James Academy in the second round of substate.

"We fell short of our goal that we had talked about all year, but after watching tape I was looking at some things that maybe I didn't do so well on as a coach."

Still, McBride said there is a lot of enthusiasm spurring the program.

He said coming so close to the team's goal of entry into the State tournament over the last two years should help the Bobcats work harder during the offseason.

Basehor-Linwood is saying goodbye to a talented group of seniors including; Tanner Swafford, Jacob Schierbaum, Scott Ogilvie and Alex Ziegler. They are a class of basketball players who helped the Bobcats become winners.

"The big thing is that they did it as a group," McBride said. "When I first arrived at Basehor-Linwood, they weren't doing anything over the summer. They didn't play basketball except for during the season. They built the program up from the bottom. To put in the extra work that they did in the weight room and working on skills, they obliviously showed a lot of loyalty and character. They are a special group in that they kept plugging away."

The work ethic of those seniors allowed for a quicker than expected turnaround to the program.

"In my first four years, I didn't think we would get where we are as quickly as we did to be honest," McBride said. "For all the things we had to teach in four years, you have to give credit to the kids for making up ground quickly. Right now basketball skill wise we have made up ground."

That burden will now fall on a talented trio of guards: Chandler Schaake, Anthony Pierce and Mark Vaca.

"They will be as experienced as any guards around," McBride said. "Schaake and Pierce have both played in every game for two league champions. I couldn't even start to make a guess as to who will play outside of them next year."

Swafford said he thinks Basehor has a future will be in the hands of point guard Chandler Schaake, who will be running a guard oriented offense next winter.

Schaake was apprised of his role in the locker room after the St. James game.

"They made sure I remembered," Schaake said. "They said I had to be a leader - me and Pierce. I didn't want to look forward yet, but we are."

The guards will not be alone, though. This year's junior varsity squad finished 17-3. In other words: reinforcements are on the way. McBride is optimistic about next year's team.

"Honestly, I think we will be better than people think we will be," McBride said. "We have a lot of talent coming up. We lost size, but we have good players coming up. I don't want to set a number yet or anything like that. But we are hoping to stay on top and have the same goal in mind: We want to be good enough to compete for a spot in the state tournament. If these kids believe and buy in, that is possible."


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