BSHS boys burst out to big lead, defeat Bishop Ward 77-51
There isn’t much for the Bonner Springs boys to take away from Tuesday’s dominant performance against Bishop Ward.
In a 77-51 senior night victory, the Braves coasted through the game, trying to enjoy the night before the high-stakes games take place.
That made it difficult to find any glaring weaknesses.
With a commanding 48-23 lead going into halftime, the Braves didn’t have to make many adjustments as long as they kept the same intensity.
“At halftime, we talked about coming out and playing a good third quarter,” coach Andrew Price said. “Easier said than done.”
The third quarter was a forgettable one for the Braves, who let the Cyclones gain a 17-8 advantage in the period. The game still wasn’t close, but losing a handle on the game was hard for some of the veterans.
“I was pretty disappointed as a senior leader,” B.J. Watson said. “I have to take care of my teammates and make sure everybody’s backed up.”
At times, he looked apologetic to his teammates after missing an uncharacteristic amount of free throws.
Part of the uneven performance was because this senior night was not a true farewell, Watson said. The Braves knew they would be hosting a sub-state game next week, against these very Cyclones (4-15) no less.
But in the fourth quarter, it was back to work and Bonner Springs (15-4) finished the way it started.
Price said despite the lead and the poor play, his team’s ability to make open shots was very encouraging at this point in the season. Four players scored in double figures for the Braves: Ivory Elijah (17), Watson (15), Brett Steuart (13) and Stevie Williams (10).
“When we go up against teams in sub-state,” he said, “the equalizer when they are bigger and stronger is us shooting the ball well.”
It’s not exactly sub-state, but Friday night will be the ultimate teaser when third-place Bonner Springs travels to first-place Basehor-Linwood. Record-wise, the Braves don’t have much to lose in the Kaw Valley League, but Basehor-Linwood is the team to beat. So this game will be a good measuring stick.
“For us to get to state, which is our ultimate goal, we’re most likely going to have to beat Basehor,” Price said. “We’re going to have to beat somebody else to even get to Basehor. But Friday night, we just want to play well.”
Friday can also be a chance for the Braves to play spoiler for a change. In their first meeting in early January, Basehor-Linwood won 68-61. It’s been a while since then, but win or lose, Bonner Springs wants to learn as much as it can while hoping for another shot at the Bobcats in the near future.
“We want to make sure we know we’re ready to face them again in sub-state,” Watson said. “It’s going to be a pretty important game.”