KVL races go through Basehor
It was a night that had the potential for two of the biggest upsets in the Kaw Valley League this season.
That’s how it goes with rivalry games, and with defending league champions Basehor-Linwood visiting Bonner Springs on Friday night it seemed anything was possible.
The Braves and Bravettes both have displayed a determined attitude and have been willing to play harder than their opponents to overcome their weaknesses. The BSHS girls made things interesting a few weeks ago at Mill Valley, and the boys have taken Lansing to the wire twice, as well as Piper.
By the end of Friday night, however, one thing was absolutely clear: The race for the Kaw Valley League boys and girls basketball championships once again runs through Basehor-Linwood.
The Bobcats have done it. They’ve thrown down the gauntlet to their KVL opponents and dared them to come take their championships.
Of course, the Bobcats haven’t done that with their mouths. They’ve let their game do the talking.
The Basehor girls had to replace four starters who went on to play at the college level. All they’ve done with their rebuilding effort is open the season with a 7-0 record and a 3-0 start in league play.
The steady leadership of seniors Amber Jeannin, Bren Koontz and Kara Douglas and junior Courtney Hooks has been evident in the Bobcats’ ability to jell so early. Up-and-coming talent such as sophomore Megan Bergstrom and junior Cassy Bever has been allowed to shine without restraint. The Bobcats genuinely don’t seem to mind who takes the top-scorer billing. They also are willing to give serious effort on the defensive end.
Even on a night where the pesky Bonner Springs defense forced Basehor to struggle offensively, the Bobcats’ core principles remained in place and they turned a close game into a comfortable victory.
The Basehor boys have followed a similar path, minus the undefeated record.
The Bobcats’ lone losses this season have come to St. James Academy and Sumner Academy — teams with state championship aspirations. Both setbacks have been learning experiences for a squad that lost a talented senior class and rebuilt around experienced guards.
Now in league play, the Bobcats played at a vigorous pace and look like they haven’t lost a step. Since then, they’ve been demolishing league foes.
They pummeled Turner in the league opener, 58-26. Then the Bobcats unloaded on Bishop Ward — a state tournament team a year ago — 60-27. On Friday the faced a Bonner Springs opponent that already had taken two of the league’s heavyweights to the wire and had visions of pulling off an upset. There was no fooling the Bobcats, however, as they took charge of the game with aggressive defense and never allowed Bonner Springs to settle into its run-and-gun offense: Basehor 71, Bonner Springs 30.
BLHS will take a break from league action this week and will try to defend its Bobcat Invitational championships. After that it’s back to league action, where the Bobcats will try to resume their rampage and dare their foes to unseat them as league champions.