BSHS girls beat Ward, take 3rd in KVL
KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The Bonner Springs girls have their sights set on making a run in the basketball postseason, and the Braves have momentum on their side.
Since suffering a setback to Kaw Valley League champion Basehor-Linwood last week, the Braves have rattled off three straight victories. The latest was a 48-34 triumph against Bishop Ward Tuesday night at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
BSHS has two games remaining in the regular season, but the victory against Ward was the last one that will impact the Class 4A substate seedings. In addition, the Braves’ victory — coupled with Lansing’s loss to Mill Valley — locked up at least a share of third place in the Kaw Valley League standings.
Bonner Springs coach Clay Oakes was excited about his team’s surge up the league standings this season, but at this point the focus is on bigger goals for the postseason.
“What was more important for us was if we had lost tonight we’d have dropped from the No. 2 seed at substate to the No. 3 seed and then had to open in the first round of substate against Tonganoxie, and we know how that went last time,” Oakes said, referencing the Braves’ come-from-behind, overtime victory Friday at THS. “We knew that if we took care of business tonight that we could lock up the No. 2 seed. I think that matches us up against Piper next week.”
Neither team was able to grab momentum during the first quarter Tuesday as the squads combined for 12 turnovers during the opening eight minutes. Erica Smith’s 3-pointer from the right wing at the buzzer put Bonner Springs ahead 12-9, however, and the Braves maintained the upper hand the rest of the way.
BSHS scored the first six points of the second quarter on a pair of Yessenia Hernandez free throws and buckets by Anna Deegan and Emily Wilson. Later, a Smith free throw gave the Braves their largest lead of the half at seven points before Ward pulled within 24-19 at halftime.
The Cyclones continued to linger throughout the third quarter. Back-to-back buckets by Frankie Oropeza and Dominique Montez brought Ward within 29-26 with 3:16 left in the quarter, but that’s when the Braves finally seized control. Hernandez assisted on two straight layups by Wilson, and Haley Hoffine scored on a put-back at the buzzer as the Braves opened up a 35-26 lead.
Bonner Springs patiently melted the clock early in the fourth quarter before ramping up the offensive attack once again. The Braves used an 11-2 run to push their lead to as many as 18 points before coasting through the final two minutes. They made 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Wilson led Bonner Springs with 11 points, Hernandez scored 10 and Deegan and Hoffine added 8 apiece to lead the way.
Hanna Barnhart led Ward with 11 points and Taylor Williams added 9.
Bonner Springs (13-5 overall, 8-4 KVL) was back in action Wednesday night at home against Piper. The Braves close out the regular season at 6 p.m. Friday at home against Basehor-Linwood.
That last game in particular is a big deal for the Braves as they prepare to face the league champions and top seed in substate.
“We really want to take a shot at Basehor,” Oakes said. “There’s a lot different mindset if you go into substate knowing you beat every team that’s in your substate versus there’s one team that’s beaten you twice and you haven’t beat them, so we’d like to be able to put a little bit of doubt in their mind Friday night and then we’ll just see how it plays out next week.”