Thursday, January 22, 2015

BOYS BASKETBALL: Bobcats advance to finals after 73-56 win against Ottawa


BASEHOR, KAN. ---- The Basehor-Linwood Bobcats overcame an early 16-1 run by the Ottawa Cyclones to advance to the finals of the Basehor-Linwood Invitational Tournament.

Basehor-Linwood improved to 10-0 on the season after the 73-56 victory against Ottawa.

Early on, thanks to a hot-shooting Ottawa team, the Bobcats were in a 16-4 hole. Ottawa converted on four straight three-point shots to flip an early four-point deficit into the 12-point lead.

But after the Bobcats stopped trying to match jump-shots with Ottawa and played their brand of basketball, Basehor-Linwood started taking control of the game.

Behind four points from Patrick Muldoon and two from Carson Fliger and Jahron McPherson, Basehor-Linwood cut most of the lead down, ending the first quarter behind by just four points.

The Basehor-Linwood momentum rolled into the second quarter. Five straight points by Nick Fisher turned a 21-17 deficit into a 22-21 lead. After Ottawa briefly regained the advantaged, a bucket from Muldoon and a three-pointer by Jack Dale gave Basehor-Linwood a four-point advantage.

That was as close as the game was the rest of the way.

"Early on, we forgot who we were," said head coach Mike McBride. "We were focused enough to reel it in. We used our big guys to create open threes. We were a little complacent."

While Muldoon did Pat Muldoon type things to lead the way with 21 points,  McPherson played perhaps his best overall game of the season.

He terrorized Ottawa on defense and attacked the glass. His 14 points also did not hurt the effort. His three-point shot near the end of the first half extended Basehor-Linwood's lead to 34-25.

"Defensively, he was huge," McBride said. "He was everywhere."

McBride said McPherson's offense has improved this week, crediting his ability to stay in control.

"The one final thing he has to do as a point guard is stop and realize where he's at," McBride said. "He missed easy ones because he didn't know where he was. He has started finishing this week."

Behind 6 early second half points from big man Carson Fliger, the Bobcats started running away with it. A Ben Hazel basket gave the Bobcats its largest lead of the game, 48-34.

Ottawa cut the lead down to 10 twice in the fourth quarter, but the Bobcats answered right back. A McPherson three in the opening moments of the fourth quarter pushed the advantage back to 13 points, 53-40. Four points apiece from Muldoon and Brock Gilliam propelled Basehor-Linwood to a 17-point lead. The lead grew as large as 19 points before the buzzer.

Muldoon finished with 21 points. McPherson scored 14; Dale scored 11; Fliger finished with 10; Fisher had 9 and Hazel and Gilliam each added 4.

Awaiting Basehor-Linwood in the final is Park Hill. Park Hill, on paper, might be the best team the Bobcats will play in the regular season.

However, Park Hill was the team McBride preferred to play in the final, rather than having a rematch with Hayden.

"I was hoping to get a new team," McBride said. "We already play our league teams twice. There are only six extra games. Park Hill is really good."

Park Hill defeated Hayden, a team Basehor-Linwood defeated by double digits earlier this season.