BLHS boys outlast Tonganoxie for third straight win
The product on the floor wasn’t always pretty and the final outcome wasn’t always clear, but when the Basehor-Linwood boys left the court after Tuesday’s meeting with Tonganoxie, they did so with their win streak intact.
The Bobcats withstood a fourth-quarter run by the Chieftains and pulled away for a 47-33 victory — their third win in as many games.
Basehor-Linwood (9-6, 7-2 Kaw Valley League) entered the second half clinging to a 19-16 lead and lost one of their top scorers shortly after the break. Ben Johnson, who entered the game averaging better than nine points per contest, left the with an injury with 6:15 left in the third quarter and didn’t return.
The loss of the 6-foot-6 senior didn’t do much to slow the Bobcats, though, as they closed out the period on an 11-4 run to go up, 35-24
“We’re just getting deeper as a team,” BLHS coach Mike McBride said. “With Zach McNabb coming back and giving us an extra guard, our movement is a lot better and we have a lot more weapons out on the court. We should be able to handle any situation.”
After taking an 11-point lead at the end of the third quarter, BLHS allowed five straight points, making it a two-possession game with 6:48 remaining. Tonganoxie (7-8, 3-6) forced turnovers on the Bobcats’ next three possessions, but couldn’t score on the other end of the floor. McBride’s squad recovered and closed out the game on a 12-4 run to preserve the win.
“We were a little flat tonight,” said McBride, whose Bobcats racked up 72 points in a win Friday against Piper. “I’m not taking anything away from Tongie because they’ve improved this year, but on our side, we felt like we were very flat. We don’t just give the ball away like that.”
BLHS jumped out to a 12-6 lead after one quarter, but allowed the Chieftains to tie things up midway through the second. Both teams struggled to gain momentum for the remainder of the half, and the Bobcats took a 19-16 lead into the locker room at the break.
Chase Younger led all scorers with 19 points, including four three-pointers. Jack Dale paced Tonganoxie with 10 points. Basehor-Linwood will travel Friday to Bonner Springs for its third straight game with postseason implications. The Bobcats defeated the Braves, 65-48, in their first meeting on Dec. 11.
“We’re finally getting on a little streak here,” McBride said. “Our kids are starting to improve and I’ve finally figured out how to coach this team. It’s so much different than the last three years, so it took me 12, 13 games to figure this team out. We’ll get better in the next five games and see if we can win sub-state and get to state.”