BLHS boys ranked seventh in preseason coaches rankings
Sub-state assignments released
The state high school activities association released its sub-state basketball assignments last week. Both Basehor-Linwood and Bonner Springs will be in the same sub-state bracket of eight teams, which will be split into two tournaments of four teams upon conclusion of the regular season.
Defending 4A state champion Basehor-Linwood will begin the season ranked seventh in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association’s preseason rankings.
The Bobcats went 23-3 in 2011-12 to capture the state title with a 56-52 victory against Ottawa, which enters this season ranked first overall at the 4A level.
Ottawa, which returns recent Duke University commit Semi Ojeleye, will return to the Bobcat Invitational the week of January 14-19, setting up a potential rematch of March’s state title game.
The Bobcats will face multiple tests against ranked teams this season, the first of which coming in the second game of the year: Dec. 4 at Shawnee Mission South, the third-ranked team in Class 5A.
On Dec. 20, BLHS will play an away game at Topeka Hayden, ranked ninth at 4A. The Bobcats avenged an early season loss to Hayden by earning a 58-51 victory in their sub-state championship last February.
Class 4A No. 8-ranked Holton will also compete in the Bobcat Invitational, and Kaw Valley League rival Lansing enters the season ranked fourth in Class 4A. The Bobcats play at Lansing on Jan. 11 and host the Lions on Feb. 12.
Speaking to the Sentinel for its 2012-13 basketball preview section, senior Ben Johnson talked about the importance of regular season matchups against ranked opponents.
“It lets us see some of top teams in state,” Johnson said. “It lets us know how they play so we know how to scout them because we’ve seen them already once.”
The Bobcats avenged all three of last season’s losses — Lansing to clinch the KVL title, Hayden in the sub-state final and Ottawa in the state final — en route to its second championship in four seasons.
Last season’s loss against Hayden served as a wake-up call before winter break, BLHS coach Mike McBride said.
“We were a little cocky before the Hayden game at our place,” he said. “It’s great to think about that loss — it was probably the most beneficial thing that we all had last year.”
Both the BLHS boys and girls basketball teams open their season at home against Bishop Ward on Nov. 30.