Opponents beware: BLHS girls taking down league’s best
When asked about her team’s home game Friday against Kaw Valley League co-leader Lansing, Basehor-Linwood senior Bren Koontz smiled and said she’ll probably dream about it.
It’s possible the Lions may have nightmares about BLHS after the Bobcats’ recent tear through the league’s top basketball teams.
Since losing four games in a row — including two in KVL action — the Bobcats have torn through the league’s top teams one by one. First they beat a one-loss Tonganoxie club. Then they took down previously unbeaten Mill Valley on Friday, 50-44. Next came Tuesday night against a one-loss Piper squad that sat atop the standings.
Again, the Bobcats prevailed. They handed Piper a 44-39 loss at the Bonner Springs YMCA.
Basehor got off to a sluggish start and trailed 14-10 after the first quarter. The woes continued in the second quarter as it made just two field goals and trailed at halftime, 21-14.
“I thought that our intensity level was very low in the first half,” BSHS coach Noah Simpson said. “We talked about that going out. We said, ‘We have to get this figured out in the first 20 minutes.’ What we meant by that was the pre-game warmup. I don’t think we did a good job of doing that.”
Simpson challenged his team to step up at halftime. Koontz took it personally.
“Simpson came in during half and kind of yelled at us about our defensive intensity, and I kind of felt like that was right to me because I can honestly say I wasn’t working real hard in the first half,” she said.
Koontz’s effort wasn’t in doubt in the second half. Whether posting up, drifting out on the perimeter or cutting through the lane, her teammates repeatedly got her the ball. She scored almost every time she touched the ball. She poured in 14 points in the third quarter alone as BLHS erased its deficit and led 31-29 entering the fourth quarter.
“She wanted to take over the ballgame, and she did,” Simpson said of Koontz. “She’s capable of that. She has the green light to do that any time she wants and we’ve never told her not to. She’s a phenomenal player and she showed just absolute senior leadership tonight.”
Koontz’s play was contagious as her teammates stepped up in the fourth quarter. They opened up the final stanza on an 8-1 run and then put the game away at the free throw line.
Koontz scored a game-high 25 points. Megan Bergstrom scored 6, Courtney Poe had 4, Courtney Hooks scored 3, Amber Jeannin had 2, Kara Douglas had 2 and Amanda O’Bryan added 2.
BLHS (11-4 overall, 6-2 KVL) next plays at 6 p.m. Friday against Lansing.
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