BLHS girls use defense to dominate Lansing
No last-second heroics were going to beat the Basehor-Linwood girls. Not this time.
Lansing handed the BLHS girls their only Kaw Valley League loss on a buzzer-beater a few weeks ago, but a highly motivated Bobcat squad took all of the drama out of the rematch Friday night at BLHS. The Bobcats used a smothering defense to shut down the Lions in a 58-31 rout.
“I told the kids in the locker room, ‘I really can’t be more proud of you,’” BLHS coach Noah Simpson said. “This is not about a 58-31 win, it’s not about how many points we scored or how much we won by. It’s more about the character and the pride that they’ve got and what it shows about them. To lose there and be 7-4, we could have just finished and chucked it in and said ‘This season’s not going the way we expected.’ But they rattled off seven games in a row, and now we’re 14-4 and we’ve got an opportunity to win the league or at least be co-champs.”
The Bobcats set the tone with their defensive pressure. They executed their press and zone trap to perfection, jumping passing lanes for steals and picking off lob passes to the interior.
At the other end, they attacked the basket and knocked down shots.
Courtney Poe buried an early 3-pointer and Macyn Sanders added a free throw as the game was tied 4-4 three minutes in. Then Poe drained another trey.
Suddenly the rout was on.
Lansing went eight minutes without a field goal while the Bobcats scored 13 straight points. Five different Bobcats scored during that span and BLHS forced eight turnovers. The surge was capped by a great transition play where point guard Courtney Poe took an outlet pass and fired it ahead to Shelby Equels who found a cutting Megan Bergstrom for the layup. The bucket put the Bobcats ahead 17-5 with 6:25 to go in the second quarter, and the double-digit lead stuck for the rest of the game.
BLHS led by as many as 16 points in the first half and held a 25-11 lead at intermission.
The teams played mostly even in the third quarter, and Basehor-Linwood’s lead grew by just a point to 15 entering the fourth quarter.
Lansing pulled within 36-23 early in the fourth quarter on a layup by Kiersten Kirkendoll, but BLHS rattled off a 9-2 run and put the game away.
Katie Delich led Lansing with 11 points. The Lions dropped to 8-10 overall and 7-5 in the KVL.
Basehor-Linwood received a game-high 16 points from Jamie Johnson, 11 from Bergstrom and 9 apiece from Poe, Macyn Sanders and Amanda O’Bryan. Victoria Smith chipped in 4.
BLHS moved to 14-4 overall and 11-1 in the league. The Bobcats next play at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home against Turner. A victory would lock up the league title because BLHS swept second-place Mill Valley this season.