By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
BASEHOR, KAN. — After an ugly victory against Piper on Tuesday night, the Basehor-Linwood boys basketball team rebounded with a strong performance to knock off Tonganoxie, 79-43.
The M&M Boys, Patrick Muldoon and Jahron McPherson, combined for 42 points to lead the way in Basehor-Linwood's victory.
McPherson, who finished with 20 points, landed the game's opening salvo.
McPherson hit a game-opening three-point shot and added a second three-pointer to put Basehor-Linwood ahead 18-13 in the first quarter. McPherson ended up with 8 first quarter points.
Also having a big first quarter was Jack Dale. The former Tonganoxie Chieftain basketball star delivered six points in the first quarter, including a three-pointer that extended the Bobcats' advantage to 9-5.
After a sluggish start for his standards, Muldoon went to the dinner table beginning in the second quarter.
Muldoon scored 8 points in the second quarter — including six straight points — to help Basehor-Linwood stretch the lead from 31-23 to 37-23.
With Basehor-Linwood up 43-28, the game's most controversial play happened.
Following a Tonganoxie turnover, Dale was going for a breakaway dunk and was fouled hard by a Chieftain player. Called an intentional foul, Dale was down on the ground for about a minute, but later checked back into the game and finished with 10 points.
Dale's apparent injury also sparked some applause from the Tonganoxie student body who attended the game.
But if anything, the foul backfired on the Chieftains in the worst way imaginable.
With the sleeping giant now awake, Basehor-Linwood went on a 21-6 run in the third quarter to put Tonganoxie away — and just about every Bobcat attributed to the run.
Muldoon had six points on the run. McPherson added six, including yet another three-pointer. Carson Fliger and Joe Gorman each chipped in with four points.
Following a game where the Bobcats came out flat, head coach Mike McBride thought the Bobcats faced the opposite problem tonight.
"We came out too revved up," McBride said. "We scored 41 points in the first half, but we didn't play team basketball. We held them to 12 second half points and played better."
McPherson's season-high 20 points appeared to put any concern of a lingering injury away.
"That's who we saw all summer long," McBride said. "We're glad he's arrived after three years."
Muldoon, averaging 21 points coming into the game, finished with 22 points against Tonganoxie.
However, it was his hustle and total effort that led the way. He had several offensive rebounds, played aggressive defense at times and even resembled a point guard, penetrating into the lane and dishing the ball off to Fliger.
"We came out with some high energy tonight," Muldoon said. "We knew we had to lock them down defensively."
McBride and Muldoon agreed that the 4-0 Bobcats can get even better during the holiday stretch.
"We've got three weeks of practice coming up," Muldoon said. "We certainly have some things to get better on."
McBride said conditioning will on top of the agenda during the holiday break.
"We have to try and get into great shape so we can play a 32-minute game," he said. "We still have to find some chemistry as well."