BLHS boys rout Platte County, take aim at third straight tourney title
It was 14 minutes of magic, but Mike McBride wanted more.
McBride, Basehor-Linwood’s boys basketball coach, was thrilled with the way his team began Thursday’s semifinal game against Platte County (Mo.) at the Basehor-Linwood Boys Basketball Invitational. He liked the final result, too — a 79-60 victory.
It was the last 18 minutes that concerned McBride, however. He didn’t like the sloppy passes, lack of boxing out, silly fouls and missed opportunities at easy baskets that allowed Platte County to make things far more interesting than they should have been.
Still, those first 14 minutes were pretty darn good.
“I thought for 14 minutes we looked as good as any team in the state,” McBride said. “We’ve worked on some things. We’re obviously better since right after Christmas. We’ve improved.”
“Improved” might be an understatement. The Bobcats were flat-out dynamite during the 14-minute stretch. They made nearly 61 percent of their field goals during that time and obliterated the Pirates’ zone defense. Jake Hattock poured in three first-quarter 3-pointers, and Evan Theno added three of his own in the second quarter. Defensively, the Bobcats forced 12 turnovers during that time and turned them into 18 points.
Hattock’s long-range outburst helped turn a 6-6 ballgame into a 20-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. Theno’s treys — the last two off of inside-out assists from Austin Stubbs — expanded the lead to 42-19 with a little more than two minutes left in the half.
“I thought we got caught up in the moment a little bit,” McBride said. “In the last two minutes we did some things that are uncharacteristic … shot a couple bad shots, had people take it to the basket when we weren’t supposed to and all we had to do was run out the clock and go in and regroup.”
Instead, the Bobcats got a bit sloppy and the Pirates took some momentum. They closed the half on an 11-4 run and pulled within 46-30.
The Bobcats never regained the crisp play of the first 14 minutes. In fact, they turned the ball over on three out of four possessions in one stretch as Platte County inched closer. The Pirates’ Jacob Hardie knocked down four shots in the quarter, and his 3-pointer with 1:10 left pulled them within 60-50.
A layup by Colin Murphy and two free throws by Ryan O’Donnell helped rebuild the lead to 14 points entering the fourth quarter.
BLHS went 9-for-13 from the free throw line in the final quarter to put the lead out of reach.
Hardie scored a game-high 27 points to lead Platte County.
Ryan Murphy led BLHS with 18 points, Hattock had 14, Theno had 10, Colin Murphy scored 9, Richie O’Donnell and Ryan O’Donnell had 8 apiece, and Mark Vaca and Stubbs each scored 6.
Basehor (8-2) will play St. James Academy (5-4) in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Bobcats are the two-time defending tournament champions. St. James advanced to the tournament finals by beating Ottawa, 63-61.