Bobcats’ bench steps up against Tonganoxie
Tonganoxie Having two starters sitting with foul trouble means big problems for most teams.
For the Basehor-Linwood boys basketball team, it meant it was time for the bench to shine as the Bobcats cruised to a 71-36 victory on Friday at Tonganoxie.
The Bobcats' bench scored 29 points, and several reserves played big roles when Basehor-Linwood made big moves at the end of the second quarter and in the third quarter to put the game away. Ten Bobcats scored on Friday.
“Our bench can do it. No matter what — foul trouble, whatever, we can stick another kid in there. That’s the fun part about this team,” Basehor-Linwood coach Mike McBride said.
Basehor-Linwood (15-0 overall, 10-0 in Kaw Valley League) jumped out to a 20-10 lead after one quarter, but with Pat Muldoon and Jahron McPherson on the bench with three fouls each, Tonganoxie looked ready to strike, closing the gap to 25-19.
“We’re trying to get where we’re not so excited at the start of the game,” McBride said. “These guys are just so incredibly competitive. ... We’re trying to get them to understand we’ve got to focus for 32 minutes instead of trying to blow people out. That will take care of itself.”
The Bobcats refocused in the final two minutes of the half, outscoring the Chieftains 11-1 and taking a 16-point lead into halftime. Reserve Nick Fisher scored five of his 13 points in the final 17.6 seconds of the half, quieting the hostile crowd with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
Things stayed the same in the second half. Basehor-Linwood blitzed Tonganoxie from the start, beginning with a 12-2 run in the first four minutes of the half to put the game out of reach.
The Basehor-Linwood bench scored 18 of the Bobcats’ 35 second-half points.
Carson Fliger led the Bobcats with 14 points. Jack Dale added 12 points, and Muldoon finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds despite limited minutes because of foul trouble.
Jared Sommers, Brady Swedo and Devan Smith each had eight points for Tonganoxie (3-13 overall, 0-10 KVL).
The victory, combined with Mill Valley’s victory over Lansing and Bonner Springs’ victory against Piper, means the Bobcats, No. 3 in Class 4A-I, have a three-game lead over Lansing, Piper and Mill Valley with four games to play.
The Bobcats play host to Spring Hill on Monday, Bishop Ward on Tuesday and travel to Lansing on Friday.