Tonganoxie on tap in semifinals for Basehor-Linwood girls
The Basehor-Linwood girls basketball team will play a familiar foe in the second round of the Class 4A sub-state tournament on Friday.
BLHS will take on Kaw Valley League rival Tonganoxie. THS defeated Hiawatha 61-27 in a first-round game on Tuesday.
The semifinal is a rematch of an earlier game this season when Basehor-Linwood won, 51-36.
“This is a big rivalry game,” BLHS coach Noah Simpson said. “We have played them before and they know us and we know them.”
Less than an hour after dispensing of Atchison in the first round, Simpson already had a preliminary scouting report or keys for winning the semifinal.
The Bobcats will have to slow down Andie Jeannin and Chrissie Jeannin.
“Both of those players are capable of big points,” Simpson said. “I have seen both of them score more than 20 points this season.”
Roni Grizzle also is a solid post player underneath who is just 5-foot-9, but plays extremely hard on the court, Simpson said.
“We also need to make sure we stay out of foul trouble,” he said. “We can’t let them take easy shots. On our side, we have to take shots we want to take.”
While the two teams are rivals, there is also a lot of respect between the programs.
“I think coach Randy Kraft is one of the best coaches around,” Simpson said. “We know they will bring it, because we are all facing the same thing. At this point no one wants to go home early, we know they will fight and play hard. We have to bring as much intensity if not more if we want to win that game.”
The winner also would likely play Holton in the finals with a state tournament berth on the line. Holton enters with a 20-0 record. Holton also defeated Basehor-Linwood earlier in the season. Simpson said his team has grown a lot since the Holton game.
“I think we have learned a lot since we played them,” Simpson said. “That loss helped in all the games we played since then. It exposed our weaknesses against the press.”
Yet, in saying that, Simpson also said the team is not looking past Tonganoxie.
“We cannot talk about Saturday, we have to focus on Friday,” he said. “You have to take care of business on Friday to give yourself a shot to be there on Saturday.”