By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com
BASEHOR, KAN. ---- Entering the season, the Basehor-Linwood Bobcats boys basketball team flew in under the radar a bit.
They were ranked just 12th in the 4A preseason Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Poll after losing over 75 percent of its scoring.
Even after a 21-point win against Bonner Springs to open the season, they moved up just two spots.
They are now on the radar after the Bobcats dominated the fourth-ranked Topeka-Hayden Wildcats 82-63 on the road Friday night.
Five Bobcats finished in double figures, with Patrick Muldoon leading the way with 16 points.
Jack Dale scored 15 points, Joe Gorman scored 13 points, Nick Fisher scored 11 and Jahron McPherson finished with 10 points.
Basehor-Linwood did it a bit differently Friday night compared to its first victory against Bonner Springs.
Against Bonner Springs, Muldoon and fellow big man Carson Fliger tore it up in the paint.
Against Topeka-Hayden, it was the guards who started off hot and stayed hot.
In a first quarter where Basehor-Linwood outscored Topeka-Hayden 18-9, guards scored all but four of the points.
Joe Gorman hit an opening three-pointer to kick-off an 8-0 run to start the game. Brock Gilliam scored an easy two and Jack Dale drilled a three-pointer to cap the run off. Later on in the quarter, it was Nick Fisher's turn to deliver from behind the arc, hitting a three to extend Basehor-Linwood's lead to 12-4. Gorman hit his second three-pointer of the game to close out the first quarter.
In the first quarter, Basehor-Linwood hit five three-pointers, including one by Muldoon.
Behind Marcus Meier and numerous fouls called on the Bobcats, Hayden fought its way back into the game. Hayden cut the lead down to one basket seven times in the second quarter, but could never tie the game or take the lead.
For Basehor-Linwood, it was Muldoon's quarter. Muldoon hit two fadeaway jumpers in the second quarter to keep the lead for the Bobcats. Gorman and Ben Hazel hit four free-throws later in the second quarter to help Basehor-Linwood maintain a two-possession lead.
Like the first quarter, Basehor-Linwood finished the second quarter with some momentum. Up 34-32, Dale hit a clutch three-pointer to extend the lead back to five points as the clock hit zero.
The momentum from Dale's shot carried over into the third quarter, as the Bobcats put together their best four-minute stretch of basketball this season.
The Bobcats scored the half's first 12 points to expand its lead up to 17 points. Fliger, who was in foul trouble most of the game, scored four points during the run. Gorman added four points. The team exchanged points and Hayden would cut the gap down to 13 points later in the third quarter.
But the Bobcats were really never in danger after that opening 12-0 salvo to begin the third quarter.
The Bobcats used great free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter to build the lead up to 21 at one point. McPherson hit all six of his free-throw attempts in the fourth, while Dale was perfect from the line as well, hitting all eight of his attempts in the game.
Basehor-Linwood outscored Hayden 45-31 in the second half, including 26-16 in that third quarter.
Fisher, coming off the bench to give the Bobcats valuable time as Fliger was in foul trouble, scored 11. He also grabbed some big rebounds in the second half.
Basehor-Linwood improves to 2-0 on the season. Topeka-Hayden begins 0-1.