Younger, McNabb lead clutch BLHS 72-65 win against Piper
The Basehor-Linwood boys basketball team used a 28-point fourth quarter to outlast Piper, 72-65, on Friday.
The Bobcats (8-6, 6-2 in the Kaw Valley League) scored on its final 12 possessions of the game, including 14 of 17 in the final quarter.
Chase Younger scored 15 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter. Zach McNabb — in his second game back — provided a spark off the bench and scored seven of his 10 points in the final quarter as well.
BLHS coach Mike McBride said Younger was just trying to extend the game. He understood the strategy from Piper: Foul and see if BLHS would miss its free throws. It didn’t work.
“We just knew that we had great guards at the beginning of the year and obviously they hit free throws,” McBride said. “(Piper’s) faster than us. They’re more athletic than us. They just put the ball on the floor and went to the hole and then just tried to foul us to see if we’d miss free throws, but we didn’t. That’s going to win you games.”
McBride said based on the way his team has played all season, he would have done the same thing Piper did if he was in that situation.
BLHS was down by as many as seven in the second quarter before rattling off seven straight in the final 2:12 of the quarter to head into halftime tied at 31.
McBride wasn’t so pleased with the first 12 minutes of play. He’s throwing that out the window. He said the next 24 minutes is when the Bobcats started playing basketball, but said there were about 10 bad possessions they need to get rid of if they’re going to make a run in the postseason.
“They learned tonight,” McBride said. “They actually looked at me and said, ‘Yeah, you’re right I took a bad shot. I’ll fix it next time.’ They did.”
With just seven games left before postseason play, he wants them to get the kinks out. First would be to get healthy, but second would be to eliminate those bad possessions where BLHS took a shot after two or three passes.
Even with the return of McNabb and Ben Johnson, who scored 11 points, the Bobcats still aren’t 100 percent healthy. They were missing Matt Ogilvie, who was out with a back injury.
Ogilvie is one of the top three on-ball defenders BLHS has. He would have helped the team with rebounding and substitutions.
Johnson is starting to figure out that he needs to post and repost a few times before making his move to the basket. That’s because the big man guarding him is going to get tired.
“He’s got to quit doing that on the first pass and wait until the third or fourth entry pass and that’s what he did in the third quarter,” McBride said. “He finally got patient.”
Younger and McNabb hit key back-to-back three pointers 22 seconds apart in the fourth quarter that extended the Bobcats’ lead against the Pirates to five with 2:30 left.
McBride isn’t a coach who believes in taking the air out of the ball with that much time left. He wants his players to have so much confidence that if they get that open look they need to take it. It’s a reason why he’s won state championships.
“That’s why we work so hard on developing everybody as a basketball player,” he said. “I’m not a big believer in running certain sets for kids here and there. We’ll run a set if we need a big shot, but all five of our kids on the floor have to be able to hit the big shot.”
He said the back-to-back threes were huge. It changed the whole dynamic of the game.
“Chase is shooting over 45 percent from beyond the three-point line,” McBride said. “We knew what kind of shooter (Zach McNabb is). For him to have 18 last game and he hit two threes again tonight and I don’t think (the ball) touched the rim on either one of them.”
Tim Sanders also scored 13 points and JP Downing added 10 points.