Bobcats prepare to take on defending state champion Cheney
Salina The Basehor-Linwood girls will try to take another step toward a Class 4A state championship when they face Cheney at 3 p.m. today at the Bicentennial Center.
Cheney is the defending state champion and enters with a 24-0 record, but that isn’t cause for concern for the Bobcats. They faced a similar scenario last year when they played a first-round game at the state tournament against then unbeaten defending state champion Concordia.
Concordia beat BLHS by seven points, but the game was tied with three minutes to go.
It was an eye-opening experience, Basehor-Linwood coach Noah Simpson said, and one he believes will help his team today.
“That experience last year was great for us,” Simpson said. “You always hate to lose a game, you hate to lose a game to anybody, but to come out and compete against somebody that won 50 games in a row — we may have been game number 50 for them — but to play them within seven and realize we had it tied with about three minutes to go … I’m hoping that speaks volumes for our kids and what we’re going to do (against Cheney), and I really do think it will. I think our kids are really focused and ready to get after it.”
Basehor-Linwood (19-4) advanced by beating Colby, 37-28. The Bobcats trailed by seven early in the second quarter before turning the game around with a switch from man-to-man to zone defense. The zone devastated Colby’s offensive strategy, and the Eagles never adjusted.
Cheney advanced by pummeling Topeka Hayden, 61-43, in a game that was never really close. The Cardinals used a combination of precise perimeter shooting by their guards and a strong offensive and defensive performance from 6-foot-3 center Merissa Quick.