Unfazed by loss to Hayden, BLHS boys get back to work
Basehor-Linwood emphasizes fundamentals while pursuing complete game performance
The Basehor-Linwood boys basketball team spent winter break working on new offenses and defenses that could be used during the second half of the season.
The Bobcats press as well as any team BLHS coach Mike McBride has had, and he also said they have spent extensive time working on offensive plays that will take the squad back to its roots.
It has been a period of learning that McBride said his players have embraced.
“This team is incredibly basketball intelligent,” McBride said.
The level of intelligence allowed the team to implement a lot of different sets that might not be used in other years.
The practices allowed the team to channel some of the frustrations from a loss to Topeka Hayden just before winter break, and also focus on the task of playing a complete basketball game once the schedule resumes.
McBride said his team has yet to play a complete game this season. In the team’s win against Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge in the Hy-Vee Shootout, McBride said the team played about 14 quality minutes of basketball.
In the loss to Hayden, McBride said his team again struggled to play a complete game. He wants and expects more out of his players in future games.
“We know how good we can be at times,” McBride said. “We look at the fourth quarter and the overtime against Columbia, and that is very good. We are still giving opponents an opportunity to win in the first half.”
Still, the ability to play a complete game isn’t necessarily something teams can perfect during practice. Players can only scrimmage so many meaningful minutes before they let up against one another. It is a verbal message that coaches have to continue delivering to their players.
“The twins (Ryan and Colin Murphy) have to step up and play. They can’t wait for their spots to open up,” he said. “They have to realize that they are the seniors. Ben Johnson has to understand that he is a junior now. Those three, along with everyone else, have to understand what their roles are.”
McBride said his players also are focused on not looking ahead to games down the road, but rather staying focused on the next game and handling the challenge that comes with being one of the top ranked teams in Class 4A.
“We want to be 1-0 every game,” McBride said. “We have to realize that we put our names on the map and all these teams like to beat us.”
The team’s schedule is not easy after break. Basehor-Linwood played Sumner Academy on Wednesday and results of the game are available at basehorinfo.com. The team plays Bishop Ward at Kansas City Kansas Community College on Friday and then travels to Bonner Springs on Tuesday. After that is a rivalry game with Mill Valley.
The Sumner Academy game is one that will be a good test as it pits the top two ranked teams in Class 4A against each other. They have met in the substate finals during each of the past two years, but they were separated this year.
“They are always a tough team to play with speed and quickness,” McBride said. “They do things differently than anybody else does. It is a tough game to judge how well you are playing because it is always a different game.”