Late rally comes up short as BSHS boys fall to Turner
After opening the season on a four-game skid, the Bonner Springs boys basketball team appeared to be on its way to a victory Tuesday, Dec. 15, at Piper.
The Braves let the lead slip away and lost by 14 points.
On Friday night, there was a bit less drama when the Braves traveled to Turner. The Golden Bears led the entire way and used a forceful inside game to win, 54-46, and drop BSHS to 0-6.
The Braves came out flat and fell behind 15-6 at the end of one quarter. The Bears got to the basket with ease and it looked as if BSHS was going to get run out of the gym.
Coach Ryan Hull did not use his normal substitution pattern and players were forced to play more minutes than accustomed. It showed at times, especially on hustle plays or 50-50 balls. The Bears gobbled up almost every loose ball.
“Necessity caused us to change up how we substitute,” Hull said. “Right now, because of injuries and a lot of other things, our depth is not the best. We had some guys step up. We have no problem changing (our philosophy) both offensively and defensively depending on the situation. It still comes down to execution. The more we execute, the less problems will appear.”
The Bears extended their lead to 13 points by halftime, but it could have been a lot worse for the Braves. There were several trips down the floor that they either settled for covered shots or did not even attempt a shot before turning the ball over. Fortunately for Hull and his players, Turner struggled to knock down open looks and kept the game close.
The Braves chipped away at the lead, but could never seem to get over the hump. The Bears denied the ball from getting into junior Kyle Day’s hands until he sank a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter. Day followed that up by getting a steal that led to an easy basket and provided his team with an emotional spark — something they had lacked all game.
“We told our guys to go hard and run our stuff and execute our plays,” Hull said. “Going hard is what was going to work, and it got us back in the game.”
Nursing a 46-42 lead late in the fourth quarter, Turner turned to go-to scorer Chuck O’Neal for three straight baskets that helped put the lead out of reach.
O’Neal finished with a game-high 25 points to lead the Bears.
“Our design to stop (O’Neal) should be a team (effort) and all work together to stop them,” Hull said. “We had lapses, and that is why that one particular guy (O’Neal) had such a (big night). On any given night, leaving wide-open guys will get you. A wide-open shot is a pretty easy shot to make.”
Austin Laing led the Braves with 20 points and Brett Steuart added 10.
“We have a long break ahead of us and we will be working our tails off, and it’s going to be pure competition at this point,” Hull said. “I think our guys will push each other. Those that want to play will decide to go hard and apply what we are saying, and hopefully we look like a different team in the second half of the season.”