Balanced Basehor girls cruise past Kaws
It was Basehor-Linwood’s last chance to improve its seeding for the Class 4A substate girls basketball tournament, and the Bobcats made sure they took full advantage of it.
They opened Tuesday night’s home game against Perry-Lecompton on a 16-0 run and never looked back in a 52-30 rout.
With the victory, BLHS improved to 12-7 overall and locked up second place in the Kaw Valley League with a 9-3 league mark.
The Bobcats sparkled on both ends of the court in the decisive first half. They shot better than 50 percent from the field, six different players recorded assists, and they turned the ball over just four times while frustrating the Kaws into nine give-aways with a feisty full-court trap and a 2-3 zone defense.
Basehor coach Noah Simpson said he was thrilled with how focused his team was for the game.
“We told them right before the game, ‘It’s pretty simple. If you win, you get to play at home next week and probably play on Tuesday instead of Monday. If you lose, you’ve gotta go play at (Kansas City Kansas Community College),’” Simpson said. “I’d rather play here. We like playing here, we shoot well here and we have a lot of fun here. It’s our own confines.
“I thought our focus and intensity from the get-go was awesome. So many players really stepped up and shot the ball well tonight.”
The Bobcats exploded from the opening tip. They forced a Perry turnover on the game’s first possession and then unleashed an offensive onslaught by hitting six of their first nine field goals. Megan Bergstrom made the first three off of a put-back and assists from Taylor Johnson and Shelby Equels. Then Cassy Bever buried an 18-footer for an 8-0 lead.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Courtney Poe and Bever extended the lead some more, and a layup by Bever off another assist from Equels made it 16-0.
Perry finally got on the board with 51 seconds left in the quarter when Katie Volle converted a three-point play to make it 16-3.
BLHS led 32-15 at halftime and led by as many as 25 points in the second half.
Poe scored a game-high 16 points for Basehor, including four 3-pointers. Bever scored 15 points and made three 3-pointers. Bergstrom scored 14 points on 7-for-7 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots. Johnson chipped in five points and three assists, and Equels added two points and three assists.
The Bobcats improved to 12-7 overall and locked up the No. 4 seed in next week’s Class 4A substate tournament. BLHS plays at 6 p.m. Friday at home against Bonner Springs, then opens substate play at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home against Bishop Ward (12-7).