BLHS, BSHS girls basketball teams fare differently at local MAYB tournament
The Basehor-Linwood girls basketball team finished its summer basketball season on what coach Jason Tatkenhorst called a high note.
The Bobcats went 3-1 in its final four games at a Mid-America Youth Basketball tournament in Bonner Springs on June 28-30.
The girls played a total of 26 games in five weeks. Teams usually are allowed eight weeks of summer basketball, but BLHS is closing its gyms for cleaning.
“I’d like to play the (weekend after the Fourth of July), but just simply with not having practice gyms (it makes it difficult),” Tatkenhorst said.
Tatkenhorst asked the girls to be in the gym every day of the week, plus playing on weekends. He normally doesn’t bring girls in on Fridays, but he brought them in on Friday mornings.
He knew his team was behind after the regular season and needed to catch up. He said the girls have gotten better since the winter season and from day one of the summer.
“I think we’re leaving on our last day feeling confident in ourselves,” Tatkenhorst said. “The girls know these games don’t really count, but at the same time when our program might feel a little down, with having a losing record last year, it’s good that we finished on a high note.”
As the summer went on, the Bobcats won more and more. It took about 10 days of shooting the basketball to really get going again after a three-month layoff.
BLHS will return four seniors, and all of them played summer basketball.
Tatkenhorst arrived 13 months ago and has seen improvement in Amber Garver, Alex Gorman, Courtney Payne and Victoria Smith.
“They’re really becoming offensive threats and taking on a leadership role,” Tatkenhorst said.
The Bobcats lost their go-to player in Jaime Johnson, but Garver and Smith have stepped into similar roles.
Smith is becoming a consistent scorer on the inside. She still had her big moments last year, but it wasn’t every game. Garver has excelled in all facets except for scoring the ball consistently. She started coming on during the second half of her junior season and she picked up from that at the beginning of the summer.
Tatkenhorst said this previous weekend was Garver’s best of the summer.
“June 1, I might have been a little worried in trying to figure out who’s it going to be,” Tatkenhorst said. “I think we’re going to be a balanced scoring attack, but you always need somebody the team can look to, to get the big bucket. It’s good to see those two girls step up and want to be that person.”
Turnovers bite the Braves
The Bonner Springs girls basketball team's summer basketball season can be summed up in one word: turnovers.
BSHS coach Clay Oakes has seem a little improvement since the beginning of the summer season, but a lot of inconsistency. He still sees a lot of growth that needs to occur between now and November. There are signs of good things to come.
At the June 28-30 Mid-America Youth Basketball Tournament, the Braves went 1-3. Oakes didn’t think his team played very well and there wasn’t a whole lot of scoring done.
“We competed well; we were in every game,” Oakes said. “We were up on Basehor and Louisburg in the second half, but multiple turnovers did us in both games. Both of them went down to the wire."
Oakes said the Braves turned the ball over 20-plus times in three of the four games. It’s not just one person. It’s multiple players every game.
“It just seems to be contagious,” Oakes said. “That ends up being the downfall for us."
The Braves lose Anna Deegan and Haley Hoffine who, Oakes said, handled the ball 95 percent of the time and accounted for about 45 percent of last year’s offense. He’s looking for players to step up and shoulder that load.
The returnees all saw varsity time last year, but now they’re being asked to step into leadership-type roles.
Julianne Jackson and Morgan Lawrence are distancing themselves as leaders through play. Jackson has had a good summer and Lawrence is stepping up inside.
BSHS doesn’t have much vocal leadership at this point.
Despite the lack of vocal leadership and ball control, BSHS did play well defensively this weekend.
With three weeks left of summer basketball, Oakes hopes to see more consistent play.
"We just have to develop a little more consistency offensively,” Oakes said. “We're not a very patient team.”