Hustle pays off for BLHS girls in victory against Ward
Kansas City, Kan. With whistles blowing throughout the night and bodies falling on the hardwood, it was physical battle to say the least between the Basehor-Linwood and Bishop Ward girls basketball teams.
The Bobcats kept fighting throughout the game, however, and ultimately defeated the Cyclones 58-46 Friday night at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
“I told the kids, ‘It’s what happens when you just fight,’” BLHS coach Noah Simpson said. “’Stop worrying about the X’s and O’s, stop worrying about being perfect and just go play,’ and they did. That’s a great way to end this week.”
Before the game, BLHS was worried about being able to be consistent on the offensive end, but the team battled through an early scoring funk and mustered 30 points before the halftime buzzer.
“Even a few days ago we we’re struggling to get the ball in the basket,” Simpson said.” We did what we had to do.”
What helped the Bobcats push past the Cyclones was the play of freshman guard Sarah Ford. She came off the bench in the second quarter and provided a spark for the team by scoring seven of her eight points before halftime.
“She starts driving to the basket,” Simpson said. “She’s just attacking, and that kind of (gave us a boost) from the wing position more than anything. We got somebody in that was going to go.”
A part of Ford’s assignment for the night included guarding Bishop Ward’s talented junior, Taylor Williams. She’s not only a physical player inside, but can also step out and knock down 3-pointers. Williams finished with a game-high 21 points.
Another important asset off the bench for the Bobcats was junior Samantha Rutherford who has seen limited action thus far this season. However, Rutherford showed signs of hustle throughout the game, and the coaching staff decided to stick with her.
“Honestly, she hasn’t had very many minutes this year, but she brought it tonight so we left her in,” Simpson said.
In the second half, BLHS extended the lead to at least 14 points on three different occasions, but the Cyclones continued to battle back.
The Bobcats maintained their intensity on the defensive end, which helped them secure enough free throw opportunities to seal the victory.
Although both teams suffered an inordinate amount of fouls it did not seem to bother Basehor-Linwood.
“I think our intensity was so high tonight and I kind of figured if we played that intense we would foul like that,” Simpson said.
With a solid victory over Sumner Academy on Wednesday to open up the second half of the season, Basehor-Linwood felt like Friday’s game could be a building block for the rest of the year.
“Like we’ve talked about since day one of the season, the first 10 games is all about figuring out who we are,” Simpson said. “The second half is expanding on all of that, and I think the kids are really starting to figure out what we need to do.”
Basehor-Linwood next plays at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bonner Springs.