BLHS boys lock up KVL title
Bobcats win league for third time in the last four years
Basehor-Linwood locked up the Kaw Valley League boys basketball championship on Friday at home with a 62-50 victory against Turner.
While the Bobcats won, it wasn’t how coach Mike McBride or any of the players envisioned it.
“We didn’t play well at all,” McBride said. “A high school basketball team will have about five games each year when they don’t play particularly well; you just have to hope that you are good enough to win when you have those nights.”
The Bobcats were good enough on Friday, and they were able to turn it on when they had been counted out.
They built a 23-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. The quarter included a 9-2 run.
McBride said he emphasized the importance of starting the game strong and playing aggressive basketball. The Bobcats led 35-21 at halftime.
In the second half, the Bears went to a zone defense and forced the Bobcats to either attempt long shots or work the ball inside. The defense appeared to slow down Basehor-Linwood.
Turner played a physical style and forced the momentum of the game on the Bobcats, cutting the lead to 35-29 on a 7-0 run to start the half.
Basehor-Linwood missed a lot of shots and struggled on offense in the third quarter. Turner later cut the lead to 36-32 and had opportunities to cut the lead further, but failed to capitalize on them. On numerous possessions the Bears missed field goals that would have cut the deficit further.
Basehor-Linwood showed a championship grit, though, and the ability to turn it on and play well on a night when things weren’t quite clicking.
Ryan Murphy made consecutive layups to give the Bobcats a 42-33 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Ryan Murphy led the Bobcats to a 20-point outpouring in the fourth quarter. He made consecutive field goals to start the quarter and helped put the game away for good.
The Bobcats connected on 13-of-15 foul shots down the stretch to seal the game.
The Bobcats (16-2 overall, 11-0 Kaw Valley League) will play host to Perry-Lecompton on Tuesday, and McBride said the team will need to play better against the Kaws.
“I told them they did not play well and we will need to get our mojo back for substate,” McBride said.
Ryan Murphy led the Bobcats with 24 points and Mark Vaca finished with 11 points. Colin Murphy scored four points and Richie O’Donnell scored seven points. Jake Hattock scored six points and Ryan O’Donnell scored five points. Evan Theno also scored five points.