Basehor-Linwood boys crush Ward, roll into Class 4A substate semifinals
Mike McBride had been waiting all year for an opponent to try to slow the pace, and the Basehor-Linwood boys basketball coach finally saw it happen Tuesday night.
Bishop Ward visited BLHS for a Class 4A substate first-round game, and the eighth-seeded Cyclones knew they had to try something to slow down the top-seeded Bobcats.
Not much has rattled the Bobcats all season, and this didn’t either as they used a crushing first-quarter run to seize control in a 65-31 victory.
“It was nice to see us bring the energy early in the game and understand what we had to do to win the game,” McBride said. “I thought for us to get up 15-4 at the end of the first quarter was huge when they were trying to slow us down.”
The Bobcats countered the slower tempo by forcing the issue on offense. Ryan Murphy spun through the lane for a reverse layup, drew a foul and hit a free throw on the Bobcats’ second possession of the game. Moments later, Richie O’Donnell picked off a pass at midcourt and took it in for a layup. Just like that, the Bobcats held a 5-0 lead and never looked back.
Ward got as close as 7-4 with 3:34 left in the first quarter, but the Cyclones went scoreless for the next seven minutes while Basehor motored to a 21-4 lead.
The Bobcats were balanced throughout the first half as six different players scored. BLHS led 32-15 at halftime.
Basehor outscored Ward 15-4 during the third quarter and held the Cyclones to just 1-for-10 shooting in the quarter.
Austin Stubbs scored seven points in the fourth quarter — including a 5-for-5 performance at the free throw line — to help put the game away.
Stubbs finished with a game-high 16 points.
“He’s been coming around big-time,” McBride said of Stubbs’ play. “The last game of the (regular) season was Senior Night and he had four quick points in that game. He’s finally starting to shoot the ball right in the post, and he’s doing some nice things. He gives such great energy. He’s always trying to tip the ball or go get the ball.”
Richie O’Donnell scored 11 points in the victory, Colin Murphy had nine, Ryan Murphy scored seven, Mark Vaca had six, Jake Hattock had five, Ryan O’Donnell scored four, Evan Theno had three and Jeff Johnson and Ben Johnson each added two.
Basehor (19-2) next plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home against Eudora in the substate semifinals. St. James Academy (15-6) will play Sumner Academy (18-3) in the other semifinal at 6 p.m.
The substate championship game will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at BLHS.
McBride said the home-court advantage would help his team.
“The surroundings are going to be great, the community’s going to be here, nobody has to travel,” he said. “When fans in this town get excited, it gets loud in here.”