Bobcats boys basketball team seeks return to full strength, victory against Bishop Ward
BLHS 60, Bishop Ward 42
The Bobcats hit nine three-pointers in a 60-42 victory at Bishop Ward on Tuesday to end their recent two-game slide and improve to 5-2 in Kaw Valley League play. Chase Younger led BLHS (7-6, 5-2 in the KVL) with 17 points and was one of four Bobcats to hit two or more three-pointers against the Cyclones. Jahron McPherson scored all of his nine points off three-pointers and J.P. Downing (eight points) and Zach McNabb (seven) also knocked down a pair of shots from behind the arc. Also on Tuesday, Ben Johnson added eight points.
Topeka The Basehor-Linwood High School boys basketball team traded leads with Hayden most of the game but was unable to walk away with a win on Saturday, falling 53-46 in the final minutes of the game.
The Bobcats were down one with 1:44 left when a hard fourth foul from Senior Ben Johnson put the Wildcats at the free throw line, bringing the score to 47-44.
Freshman Jahron McPherson put up a short jumper that missed but drew a foul.
McPherson made both free throws, putting the Bobcats back within one point with 1:03 left in the game.
“We took a three-point lead in the fourth quarter and I could have done things differently as a coach,” BLHS coach Mike McBride said. “I didn’t do a good job coaching in the last three minutes.”
A series of subsequent fouls that included junior Chase Younger fouling out with 12.9 seconds and junior Tim Sanders fouling out with less than 10 seconds left in the game put the Wildcats at the free throw line and the lead out of reach for the Bobcats. Johnson led the team with 12 points and junior Chase Younger had nine points, while junior Tim Sanders scored eight during a game that included seven lead changes and five ties. Junior Sean Potter also put up five points in his first varsity game for the Bobcats.
“That was a big, bright spot that it was his (Potter’s) first game and he was able to score five,” McBride said. “Looks like he can make us eight deep going into sub-state.“
Senior Matt Ogilvie got injured within the first 30 seconds of the game and never returned. Junior Zach McNabb also remained sidelined.
“We were down two guys (on Saturday night) and that’s been the story of the season,” McBride said. “It’s been injury filled and there’s been other issues off-court but we played hard to win.”
The Bobcats were coming off of a 56-51 loss on Friday at De Soto.
“Friday night we didn’t play very hard and very well,” McBride said. “We came in like we thought we could beat De Soto because Tonganoxie beat them. We didn’t think they were very good and I felt like we didn’t play very hard, though I am not taking anything away from De Soto because they are a good team.”
Johnson said the Bobcats were physically tired on Saturday night and had to fight through the game.
“Overall, I think we got a lot better, we just have to work,” Johnson said.
“We’re getting better and we’re getting there. Sub-state and state is all that matters.”
Younger said he felt like the Bobcats were coming together as a team and rotating the ball more but added there is always room for improvement.
“That’s what it is about,” he said. “We are just trying to get better, offensively especially.”
Saturday’s loss brings the Bobcat’s record to 6-6 for the season, a record they’d improve to 7-6 on Tuesday (5-2 in the KVL), though McBride said the record is getting thrown out the window.
“The next four weeks we are preparing for sub-state and we’ll see what happens,” he said.
McNabb returned against Bishop Ward on Tuesday, strengthening the Bobcat’s roster.
“I think the big thing we need to stress is staying positive and the kids haven’t lost hope,” he said. “We played Ottawa with six guys and lost by five. If we get all seven or eight players, who knows what we can be.”