Basehor boys 2nd at tourney
St. James Academy started the second half of Saturday’s game against Basehor-Linwood on an 11-0 run and took control of the basketball game.
The Thunder’s run included 3-point shots from Joe Kelling, Mike Huppe and Kevin Lysaught.
During the run, St. James Academy played tough defense and forced numerous turnovers, essentially shutting down Basehor-Linwood’s offense.
“Any coach will tell you that the first half of the third quarter is critical to winning,” St. James coach Andy Tylicki said. “I thought we came out pretty well.”
Basehor-Linwood coach Mike McBride said it was the difference in the game as the Bobcats finished second at the Central Heights Tournament in Osawatomie.
“We are not experienced enough to come out in the second half and play like that,” McBride said. “Obviously this is a game of runs and we came up a little empty in that area.”
Basehor-Linwood’s Tanner Bowers stopped the run by making a 3-pointer to cut the lead to six points. The Thunder led 42-35 entering the fourth quarter.
BLHS cut the lead to four points early in the final quarter, but the Thunder’s Jim Getto drilled a 3-pointer. Later, St. James extended the lead to nine points on a Huppe field goal. With 16 points, he was the only St. James player to score in double figures. Lysaught finished with nine points for the Thunder.
Also for St. James, Jordan Bichelmeyer and Clint McCullough scored 8 points apiece, Kelling had 7, Getto had 3, Frankie Zitnik had 2 and Anthony Smith added 1.
Basehor-Linwood scored four unanswered points later in the game, but could not close the scoring gap any further.
Colin Murphy led BLHS with 12 points, Bowers had 11, Chandler Schaake scored 8, Justin Gripka had 5, Clint Schierbaum had 4, Richie O’Donnell scored 3 and Mark Vaca added 2.
The game was an early-season showcase between two teams that stress defense daily in practice. Throughout the game, the two teams played tough defense, forcing numerous turnovers.
“I don’t know how they run their practices, but I guarantee they work on defense. Defense is also a big focus for us,” Tylicki said. “This was a great early-season game. We were excited to play against a really good team and it should help us be a really good team at the end of the season.”
After trailing 9-2 early in the first quarter, Basehor-Linwood rallied to tie the game 12-12. The Bobcats went ahead with a Schaake 3-pointer. He was fouled on the shot and converted the four-point play. BLHS led 16-12 entering the second quarter.
Basehor-Linwood led 20-12 early in the second quarter before St. James rallied with eight consecutive points and tied the game.
The teams traded baskets throughout the second quarter, and Basehor-Linwood led 29-27 at halftime before St. James pulled away for the victory.
While the Bobcats are disappointed with a loss, they are now looking forward to closing out the December schedule in strong fashion. A Tuesday night game against Mill Valley was postponed because of snow, but the Bobcats play again Friday at Lansing.
“We are hoping that there is no emotional letdown,” McBride said. “We better bring it on Tuesday. I told our guys that if we are going to lose a league title, someone is going to have to come in to our place and get it.”