Voorhes’ 25 leads Mill Valley past Bonner Springs, 64-42
How cruel would it be, Mill Valley coach Justin Bogart thought, if history took this one away, too?
He thought back to last year when, Mill Valley led Bonner Springs by double digits in both encounters, only to see the Braves come back to win in each game.
"First of all, there's nothing typical about a Bonner-Mill Valley game,” Bogart said after Friday night’s 64-42 victory against the Braves.
Bogart said he didn’t feel comfortable in the game until his team was up 15 with about five minutes to go. The Jaguars had held a decent lead throughout most of the game, but there was always that chance of a meltdown.
At least that’s a coach’s fear, even when the circumstances have flipped. Instead of being the less-experienced team unable to hold onto leads, the Jaguars have the edge in veteran presence this season.
Bonner Springs, for once, is in a bit of a rebuilding year. Braves coach Dan Streit just wanted his players to tone down the mental mistakes, turnovers and bad shot selection, knowing Mill Valley was stacked with crafty veterans.
"Our youth is the problem with trying to find that identity,” Streit said. “But I think we're getting there."
The Braves made big strides during the game. Streit saw the best three and a half quarters of basketball he has seen all season. No one hung their head, no one gave in. There are no moral victories in basketball, Streit said, but this was a place to build a solid foundation.
After trailing by seven points in the first quarter, the Braves (3-6, 1-5) started the second with a 7-2 run and let the Jaguars (6-2, 5-1) know they weren’t going to let up. Then, in a blur, Mill Valley junior Wyatt Voorhes scored six straight points and the Jaguars rode that momentum for the rest of the game.
At halftime, the score was 33-23. This is where that veteran presence needed to come into play.
"We're the veteran team," Bogart told his team in the locker room. "We should be able to play with the manner to put a team away when we get the opportunity."
Voorhes finished with a game-high 25 points, his third game with the Jaguars since transferring from Bishop Miege. Brett Hamilton had 12 and Stacy added 11.
Senior Austen Twombley led the Braves with 10 points and Tyler Howell added 9.
Bogart admitted that he probably yelled at his team too much during the game, if only to fix the little things. But to get to where they want to go, that’s what the Jaguars have to work on.
"I hope we haven't hit our peak," Bogart said.
The Braves want to be at that point. But for a team that is a perennial power in the Kaw Valley League, this is new territory.
"I could sit here and be mad about the season and the way it's going,” Streit said. “Nobody's happy with our wins and losses right now. But I see the kids growing. And to me, that's a lot more important."
Bonner Springs will be at the Baldwin Invitational on Tuesday.
The Jaguars will look to continue their three-game win streak beginning next Thursday at the Coffeeville Interstate Classic.
This story has been updated to reflect the correct final score.