Basehor boys roll to second straight Bobcat Invitational championship
The Basehor-Linwood boys basketball team put another trophy in the case Saturday night, winning its second consecutive home tournament title.
In the championship game of the Bobcat Invitational, BLHS defeated Park Hill High School, 59-45, in a game that never was very close.
Chandler Schaake scored 4 points, and Ryan Murphy scored 5 in the first quarter as Basehor-Linwood jumped out to a 15-5 lead and remained in control the rest of the way.
On defense, BLHS won the rebounding battle and forced numerous turnovers that turned into points in transition.
The 10-point advantage remained a consistent cushion throughout the game. The Bobcats led 30-20 at halftime and led by 10 points most of the game.
While BLHS controlled most of the game, the game wasn’t necessarily the team’s most inspired performance.
“It felt a little flat tonight; we kind of fought through it all,” coach Mike McBride said. “We got a 10-point lead and then kind of hung on. It seemed like they made a run and then we kind of pushed it back up on them. That is kind of a good team. That is nice.”
In the second half, the Bobcats extended the lead to 13 or 14 points only to have Park Hill cut the lead back down. The score was 44-33 at the end of third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Schaake drilled a 3-pointer to give the team a 47-33 lead. Park Hill responded with a 4-0 run. A few possessions later, Ryan Murphy nearly dunked the ball, but the ball bounced out of the rim. The missed basket occurred during a 5-0 run for the Bobcats and symbolized the team’s aggressive play throughout the tournament. That run helped put the lead out of reach.
Schaake led the Bobcats with 20 points and was the tournament Most Valuable Player. Richie O’Donnell scored 15 points, and Ryan Murphy finished with 10 points.
O’Donnell’s play provided a lift for BLHS.
“Yeah, now it is his coming out party. If we keep having these, then we can be very good by the end of the year,” McBride said. “He is very strong and hard to get around. He has great post moves. His confidence is coming, and he is starting to understand some things.”
The team’s other scorers in the game were: Tanner Bowers, 5; Colin Murphy, 4; Mark Vaca, 4; Anthony Pierce, 1.
Tanner Bowers scored 17 points and led Basehor-Linwood to a 59-49 victory over St. James Academy on Thursday.
Bowers also played tough defense against St. James Academy’s Mike Huppe and didn’t allow him to take the game.
Bowers’ performance was part of a stellar game for the Bobcats, who avenged an earlier loss to the Thunder in the Central Heights Tournament championship game.
St. James Academy also defeated Basehor-Linwood in sub-state competition last season.
“They make you play more disciplined,” McBride said. “This is the most disciplined my team has played probably in 13 years.”
Players executed the game plan and scouting report that had been discussed in practice.
“We hit big shots all night long, got up by four in fourth quarter, kept running our offense and pushing the lead up,” McBride said. “You have to be focused to beat a team like that; we went over good scouting report and followed it.”