BLHS boys soar past Ottawa, reach tourney finals
Colin Murphy skied above the rim, grabbed a basketball and dunked it midway through the third quarter.
His team led 41-32 and was about to put the game away. Ryan O’Donnell grabbed a loose ball off a missed Ottawa shot and scored a layup at the other end of the floor.
Following Ottawa’s next trip down the floor, O’Donnell scored again on a layup.
The Bobcats led by 13 points and Cyclones called timeout. Basehor-Linwood coaches and players jumped up from the bench to congratulated the players. The crowd roared with applause.
Basehor-Linwood was on its way to a 66-49 victory over Ottawa Friday night in the semifinals of the Basehor-Linwood Basketball Invitational.
The Bobcats had four players score in double figures. Ryan Murphy led all scorers with 16 points. Austin Laing scored 15 points. Colin Murphy scored 12 points and Ben Johnson chipped in 10.
The Bobcats were balanced in the victory, which was probably key to the team’s ability to sustain Ottawa’s strong start to the game with their own and then to keep scoring buckets.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth, fast-paced and featured both teams filling up the rim with 3-pointers.
Ottawa’s Adam Hasty drilled three shots from 3-point range in the quarter and finished with a game-high 25 points. He led Ottawa to an 18-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Basehor-Linwood played enough defense in the quarter, and had strong scoring contributions from Laing to thwart the effort.
Laing made a pair of 3-pointers, and he said Hasty’s strong start helped him focus a little bit more.
“I was really in the moment and trying to show what we are capable of against them,” Laing said.
Ryan Murphy also had 5 points in the quarter, and Ethan Theno drilled a 3-pointer.
The scores helped make the first quarter a proverbial draw.
In the second quarter, though, the Bobcats slowed down the pace of the game and went to work winning possessions en route to a 9-0 run. The team worked its offense and found open players. They were able to work the ball in on offense and score.
Meanwhile, Ottawa’s shots that had fallen in the first quarter stopped drawing net in the second.
The Cyclones made three field goals in the quarter and didn’t score until Semi Ojeleye made two free throws with four minutes to play in the half.
The two teams traded buckets and possessions for the rest of the quarter. Adam Hasty hit his fourth 3-pointer of the first half with 2.2 second remaining. Basehor-Linwood passed the ball in and Ryan Murphy banked in a shot with a second remaining.
The halftime score was 35-27.
BLHS coach Mike McBride said the consistent effort is a tribute to the players’ ability to play focused basketball. They were focused on playing well against Ottawa early in the game, because it was important to handle their early attack.
He said his team did a nice job of playing consistent basketball, and he was pleased that they worked the ball inside for layups nicely.
Basehor-Linwood doesn’t have much time to enjoy this win, playing Park Hill (Mo.) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the championship game.
“It is going to be another test. They are as athletic as Sumner Academy,” McBride said. “We are excited to see how we do.”