Basehor-Linwood boys brace for tough tests in Emporia
The Basehor-Linwood boys basketball team made quick work of Tonganoxie during the season-opener Friday, but after the game the Bobcats quickly turned their attention to preparing for the Emporia Invitational.
Coach Mike McBride said it is early season test time, allowing him to find areas where the team can make improvements by playing against top competition.
“We go down there to get exposed for our weaknesses and to get better,” McBride said. “From there, we can try to figure some things out.”
Perhaps it will be an indication of how successful this year’s team can be coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons and a Kaw Valley League Championship last year.
Basehor-Linwood plays against De Soto at 6 p.m. today and against Olathe East at 6 p.m. Friday. The team’s final opponent will be determined by the results of the first two games in the tournament.
Other teams in the tournament include Emporia, Junction City and Word of Life Academy.
De Soto is an ascending program from the Frontier League, and should provide another Class 4A test early in the season. The Wildcats have been ranked in preseason polls, McBride said.
The Bobcats’ second opponent, Olathe East, is a Class 6A program and a perennial power in the Sunflower League with an experienced coach. The Hawks are accustomed to playing in the state tournament. Colin and Ryan Murphy, the Bobcats’ standout junior twins, are familiar with Olathe East and coach Jim Super. Their father played for him during high school.
The Bobcats and Hawks are somewhat familiar with each other. They played last season in the Emporia Invitational. Olathe East won 62-48. The Hawks jumped out to an early lead with a fast tempo of play. McBride said following the loss that it was good for his team to see that type of speed early in the season.
The Bobcats went on to a 20-3 season with its two other losses coming to eventual Class 4A state champion Sumner Academy.
Colin Murphy said he hopes the result is different this season against Olathe East.
“We had a sour taste in our mouth from losing to Olathe East last year,” he said.