Strong first half leads BLHS boys past Bonner Springs in substate semifinals
Kansas City, Kan. Basehor-Linwood and Bonner Springs combined to shoot more than 60 free throws on Thursday, playing most of the game in the bonus.
Bobcats beat Braves in substate
Nick Verbenec shared his photography with The Sentinel and Chieftain for this game. To purchase photos from this gallery and to view significantly more photos from this game, go to nickverbenecphotography.com.
In a physical game, Basehor-Linwood made 25 of 38 foul shots and won, 57-39.
BLHS coach Mike McBride said it was a game of survival and one of his team’s best performances as it earned a return trip to the Class 4A substate championship game.
“We got the monkey off our back and are where we want to be. Now with the monkey off our back we can just go play,” he said. “There are 16 teams left playing now and all are good. Now we just have to go play. If you can get to the last 16 teams, then you have done something.”
Bonner Springs coach Andy Price said he liked how his team battled back in the second half after trailing by double digits at halftime.
In the end, Basehor-Linwood made more plays in the fourth quarter to win the game.
With the score 39-32, Evan Theno stole the basketball and dribbled in for a layup attempt at the other end of the floor. He missed the shot, but Bonner Springs was whistled for an intentional foul on the play.
Theno went to the foul line and made both shots. The Bobcats later increased the lead to 11 points when Austin Stubbs drew a foul and made both free throws on the ensuing possession.
After a valiant rally in the second half, in which Bonner Springs cut a 14-point deficit to seven, Basehor-Linwood put the game away.
“You spend so much effort to come back from 14 down,” Price said.
While Bonner Springs didn’t tie the game, sometimes a team runs out of gas after making a run when trailing by double digits, he said.
Late in the game, Basehor-Linwood led by 10 and began pulling away as Colin Murphy and Stubbs made layups on back-to-back possessions. After three quarters of patience, taking what Bonner Springs would give them, the Bobcats found numerous open looks at the end of the game. Basehor-Linwood outscored Bonner Springs 10-7 during the remainder of the quarter.
McBride said his team played with great patience on offense and didn’t allow a lot of open looks on defense. They did a nice job of guarding the perimeter and limited Bonner Springs’ second-chance attempts.
Ryan Murphy led the Bobcats in scoring with 17 points, Colin Murphy scored 9, and Ryan O’Donnell, Ben Johnson and Stubbs had 8 apiece.
Meanwhile, Bonner Springs was led in scoring by B.J. Watson who finished with 15 points. In addition, Steve Williams scored 7 points and Juan Pichardo scored 6 points.
Bonner Springs made 15 of 26 free throws.
Basehor-Linwood won the game after dominating the first half.
Basehor-Linwood played a controlled style of basketball in the half. The team scored its points in the paint and also scored second-chance points. Ryan Murphy led the way with four points in the first quarter and had eight points at halftime. Basehor-Linwood was also very solid on defense.
The Braves struggled shooting the basketball in the half, making just two field goals in the first 12 minutes. The score was 22-8 at halftime.
In the second half, the Braves went on a brief run to start the third quarter and basically played to a tie in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 13 points at the end of the quarter. In the fourth quarter, they cut the lead to seven points when Pichardo made a 3-pointer before the game-changing sequence at the end of the game.
With the win, Basehor-Linwood (18-3) advances to play in the Class 4A substate title game against Sumner Academy at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Piper High School.
Bonner Springs finished the season with a 15-6 record.