Basehor-Linwood basketball honors cancer patient
Basehor Jahron McPherson led the boys with 15 points, and Madison McDowell led the girls with 19 points in Basehor-Linwood’s basketball sweep of Bishop Ward, but the big star of the night Tuesday didn’t play in either game.
Basehor Intermediate School fifth-grader Hayden Hand took the star turn during the “Grey Out” for brain cancer. Hayden is undergoing treatment for glioblastoma, a rare brain cancer, and both Basehor-Linwood teams and their coaches, along with many in the stands wore gray “Hayden’s Heroes” t-shirts made for the occasion.
Hayden also was announced with the boys starting lineups, received a signed basketball and got to go into the locker room with the boys team, where the players made him feel like part of the team.
Bobcat boys coach Mike McBride liked the way his team played in the 67-38 victory, but liked what they did before and after even more.
“The most important thing tonight is that they took care of a little kid tonight,” he said. “That’s what I’m more proud of than anything else.”
The BLHS girls got the night started with a 67-41 victory. After spotting Bishop Ward the first 11 points, the Lady Bobcats dominated the action the rest of the way, reaching a season-high for points while holding Bishop Ward to 25 points in the final three quarters.
Ryann Smith, who finished with 11 points, started the Lady Bobcats’ scoring with a 3-pointer late in the first half, and hit another with 4:45 left in the second quarter to give BLHS its first lead of the game.
“Once Ryann hit that first 3, it kind of loosened everything up, and we gradually got it going from there,” Coach Jason Tatkenhorst said. “It still wasn’t a great first quarter, but we were talking about that we needed to win the second quarter, and we scored more than 20 points. The girls really felt good going into halftime.”
The Lady Bobcats rolled from there, extending the lead to double digits in the third quarter and outscoring Bishop Ward 23-7 in the fourth quarter.
McDowell scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half and also led BLHS with six rebounds. The Lady Bobcats outscored Ward 39-16 in the second half.
“I think we finally figured out our rhythm after the first half,” McDowell said. “We got off to a slow start, but we pulled it together and played together.”
Zoey DeLeon added 10 points off the bench for the Lady Bobcats, who won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
In the boys game, Bishop Ward stayed close in the first half and even took a 21-19 lead midway through the second quarter.
But BLHS, playing its second game in as many nights, took the lead right back and methodically pulled away. The Bobcats led by nine at halftime and 15 after three quarters.
“Ward came after us and played with a lot of intensity,” McBride said. “When they got that two-point lead, we pretty much shut them down after that. That’s all you can ask for on back-to-back nights.”
McPherson grabbed six rebounds for the Bobcats, and Pat Muldoon added 14 points and five rebounds. Carson Fliger, Brock Gilliam and Kurtis Tatkenhorst scored six points each.
Basehor-Linwood goes to Lansing on Friday night, and then finishes the regular season the following week with a home game Tuesday against Turner and a road game Friday at Mill Valley.
To contribute to the fund to send Hayden on a vacation before his next round of chemotherapy, click HERE.