State Tournament Day One: From The Eyes of The Participants
March 12, 2015
In addition to traditional coverage of the events of this week, we at The Express wanted to provide a unique perspective on the tournament – through the eyes of the participants themselves. After each game, we’ll provide you firsthand accounts of what went down – straight from the athletes, managers, fans, cheerleaders, and band members.
Teamwork and Togetherness Led to a Bobcat Victory
Playing in the Bicentennial Center is a great experience for the team, we enjoy the atmosphere and the feeling of playing on a college-like court, it makes for an experience of a lifetime for the guys.
Starting the day with the send-off at the school is a great way to get us even a little more pumped up for the game. Seeing all the students and teachers show their support makes us want to put on a show that they wont forget.
It really hit me that we were playing for a state title when they began to announce our team right before tip off. The crowd went nuts, and I could feel the roar of the crowd under my feet.
It’s an amazing feeling to know that we have the support of a great student body and an amazing community behind us as we take on Salina together!
Although the game went by fast, it sure was an enjoyable one. After getting through the rough start and getting those early jitters out of our system we really started to roll. We were playing Bobcat basketball – something we have been working on as a team all year, and we know that once we start playing up to our potential we know that nobody in the state can hang with us!
It’s an amazing feeling to get the whole team involved in the game, when everyone starts working together and moving the ball we really opened up the floor. We are very fortunate to have such a deep bench. Every single person on our team is a threat: we can all score, we can all defend, and we can all run! And thats exactly what we did Wednesday night!
Because of our teamwork and togetherness on and off the court, we came out with a victory. Now all there is to do is prepare for Ottawa. One game at a time.
Big Dunk Energizes Student Section
When I first arrived to the game the atmosphere was outstanding: our student section was packed and ready to go. Warming up, Wellington was not missing any shots, and to an opposing teams student section this is kind of scary.
From the looks at the players warming up, the players from Wellington that stood out to us were Cade Phelps(5) and CJ Snipes(23). They were no missing anything in warmups and we all heard that they were both freshmen.
Closing into the start of the game both student sections were in full swing, every kid was screaming at the top of their lungs. Then Snipes came down and hit a opening three-pointer that sent a dagger to us.
The opening possessions for both teams were outstanding. Pat was hitting clutch jumpers for us, and Wellington missed a couple of their first shots. This sparked out student section.
The refs were calling bad calls for both teams that really got both crowds upset. I was pretty scared that if our tempo did not pick up that they would go on a long run.
With Snipes making every bucket we were getting even more scared and with that kid being a freshmen he had ice in his veins. We were all holding our breath to close out the first half, not that many cheers were getting yelled because of the strict supervision from our supervisors.
The second half was amazing from start to finish. We went on a huge run to start the second. We went up by almost 20 right off the bat. We keep getting steal after steal and with our fast breaks come big dunks, and with big dunks there can only be one person to get the job done. And that guy is PAT MULDOON!
Pat send our student section into overdrive – with that dunk there was no going back from there. Basehor-Linwood was set on cruise control and we coasted to victory.
At the end of the game we did our undefeated chant, and this sent chills down our spines because it is such a rare occurrence.
The boys did such a great job of sharing the ball and playing as a team. Now it is on to the next game and with the next game Basehor-Linwood will play Ottawa. Ottawa is always a big game and a big rivalry for both teams. It is time to show out and get another clutch win.
Unsung Hero Comes Through for Bobcats
It was the first game of the tournament. Wellington was the first opponent. The sheer excitement and anticipation to the tip ball was at a level that is unexplainable. The Basehor-Linwood crowd was filling in and it was obvious that the Bobcats would have the upper hand in terms of fan attendance.
Setting up the equipment to broadcast was exhilarating. I felt as if I was just as nervous as some of the players. Main camera. Check. Scoreboard camera. Check. Microphones. Check. It was time to broadcast.
The first five minutes of the game was deja vu for the Bobcats. Just a year earlier the Bobcats had been upset by El Dorado in a similar situation. That thought was quickly erased though as the Bobcats caught fire and shot 9/10 from the field in the first quarter and they never looked back.
The Crusaders hit two three-pointers in the first four minutes of the game, but did not make one after that finished 2/7 from beyond the arc. If the Crusaders wanted to stay close to the Bobcats in this game they would have had to been lights out from three-point land.
The Bobcats won the game 65-40 and also outscored the Crusaders in each quarter. Wellington started three freshmen, and the most impressive was the point guard, AJ Snipes. He was the Crusaders’ backbone throughout the whole game. He led scoring for the Crusaders with 14 points.
The Bobcats were extremely sharp after a few rough minutes to start off the game. The ironic part of the box score is that 6’7 Patrick Muldoon or 6’6 Carson Fliger did not lead the Bobcats in rebounds during the game.
6″1′ Joe Gorman did, with six rebounds. Muldoon had to sit out for a while after picking up two early fouls, but his leadership presence was still there from the bench.
Carson Fliger picked up Muldoon’s absence inside as he scored 14 points on the night. Muldoon eventually returned and finished with 15 points and most notably the monstrous alley-oop dunk from Brock Gilliam in the third quarter to get the Bobcat crowd going.
The unsung hero of the game was Brock Gilliam.
Gilliam played the most minutes of any Bobcat with 24 (of 32 total). Gilliam is perhaps one of the most athletic basketball players in the tournament.
He filled every stat in the box score except 3-Point Att-Make and Free Throws. It would surprise me if Gilliam does not make the All-Tournament team.
The Bobcats continue their quest for perfection on Friday night at 4:45 against the Ottawa Cyclones. The Bobcats defeated the Cyclones 73-56 earlier in the season during the Bobcat Invitational.
Thrilling Games Builds Excitement for Weekend
Wednesday’s game was a great way to start off our weekend at state. Walking into the arena, we were greeted by a nice man who showed us a place to warm up and talked to us about things we needed to know, like where to stand, timeouts, etc.
The officials were also very kind in asking us if we were ready for a good game. This got us excited an helped ease the nerves.
Introductions were new and exciting. I loved how they announced all of the players, coaches, and managers. Everyone needs recognition, especially since we’ve made it so far, and I was glad to see them get recognized.
The game started off pretty well, with Wellington hot while Basehor-Linwood began warming up. One thing I love about our team is that the skill level is pretty equal among all team members, so McBride can play any player and still do well in the game.
This keeps our team from getting tired, like what happened to Wellington. We have an all-around great team, which is how they succeed and play a game the whole way through.
My favorite parts of the game were when our team dunked the ball, and even when the game was so fast paced that Brock flew into the bottom bleachers.
I didn’t see what happened, but I heard the sound of him hitting the bleachers, and looked over to see him standing up and someone picking up the trash can.
All I could think was, “Wow. He must really want to win. That was fierce.”
It’s things like those that make the game exciting to watch. We will see what the next game brings against Ottawa, hopefully pulling out a win and taking us to the state championship game on Saturday.
From Coach’s Wife: Something To Be Proud Of
The buildup to day one of the 2015 4A-D1 State Tournament really started a year ago with the unexpected loss to El Dorado in the first round of the 2014 state tournament. I am a big believer in everything happens for a reason, and while that loss was extremely painful, it provided a fire that has stayed lit under not just this team, but the coaches as well. So to say yesterday’s game was much anticipated, would be a vast understatement.
Throughout the season, I’ve watched from a unique perspective, this team really come together and find its identity. They’ve all done everything that has been asked of them, and they’ve done it the right way.
When I saw this team stand in their line awaiting their introductions, I saw something that everyone in Basehor should be proud of. I saw a group of brothers standing in solidarity, ready to lay it on the line for each other to achieve their common goal.
I saw a group of young men already having achieved so much, on the verge of achieving something that can never be topped. I saw a group of young men that will forever hold a special place in my heart…not because they were exceptional basketball players, but because they are exceptional people!
Once the game got underway, I knew this team would take care of business. Even when we got down by a handful of points, I knew the guys would settle in and get the job done…which is exactly what they did.
I believe that win eliminated a weight that had been sitting on the shoulders of these guys all year. Now we are on to the semi-final game and I have just as much confidence that they will get the job done in that game as well, but whatever happens in these final two games, I will be proud of this group both on and off the court.
Manager Recounts Game from Her Spot on the Bench
When I came to the state tournament in 2014 as the freshmen team manager, I had a hope that one day I would be able to go as the varsity manager.
Just a year later I got my wish and on March 11, 2015, I found myself walking through student-filled hallways behind the basketball team to fill up school vans and be on our way to Salina.
As much as I love the games, half of the fun for me is the trip to the game and everything that happens behind the scenes of a game. We stopped and had breakfast at IHOP and then we had our eyes set on Salina.
When we walked into the Bicentennial Center I had a rush of emotions. As the boys stretched and shot, I spent my time filling up water bottles, folding towels, and prepping the stat book.
Then it was game time and as I stood on the court stepping out when my name was called and then giving the boys their pre-game high-fives I thought to myself, “I don’t want this to end.”
I took my seat next to Coach Oberndorfer with my stat book and pencil in one hand, and Pat’s mouth guard case in my other and I thought, “this is the game we’ve been waiting for for so long.”
Although much of the first half was back and forth, the boys played like they needed to and ended up with the win to remain a perfect 23-0.
Basketball Band Enjoys Courtside View
My whole day started with a five hour long bus ride (or at least that’s what it felt like to me) on the way to Salina. I would argue that one of the best things in the world is band bus rides, because there are a constant stream of jokes, friendly jabs, and music blared from random people’s phones.
As for me, I was playing Mario Kart with a friend while listening to Asking Alexandria and Attila in my headphones. I love listening to them to get pumped up for this stuff, and if I’m the only person that gets pumped up for band, then okay. I’m not ashamed!
After the ride and a stop at McDonald’s, we arrived in Salina, and began setting up for the game. I aided in moving the platforms in for the drumset, then set up my stand and chair.
With about 30 minutes to game time, we were all set. So, with nothing better to do, and the other team’s band still absent, we started playing. Before we knew it, it was time for the game.
From our spot behind the baskets, we had a courtside view. I must say that there were some bad calls that we could see as plain as day. I mean, I’m no expert at basketball, but if I can tell that it was a foul, it must have been a pretty bad foul.
The tension was pretty high as Wellington caught up to us, and Kazmaier wasn’t very happy with some of the calls that were made. However, we caught up, and with each basket and layup, the stress subsided.
By the end of the game, I felt like the energy was almost completely gone. I myself was tired, that was for sure. But we were ahead by twenty points, and it was a definite win, even with five minutes left.
It was a win for the band too, because we played better than the opposing win. See, it’s not just the basketball teams that compete at State; the bands do too.
So for both the boys and for us band kids, it was a win. Now I sit with the anticipation of Friday’s game. Another long bus ride, but it’ll be worth it.
My only hope is that my phone doesn’t die halfway to Salina again; I can’t survive another trip without music.
Through the Eyes of a Bobcat Parent
The unseasonably warm late winter weather gave way to the warmer yet familiar confines of the Salina Bicentennial Center. The 2015 4A state tournament tipped off with a flourish as Basehor-Linwood’s first two-pointer fell on a razor quick move to the basket by junior Brock Gilliam. The Bobcats traded shots with the Wellington Crusaders throughout the first quarter.
Basehor-Linwood began to show their post season pedigree as the second quarter began, slowly the butterflies of being back on the big stage melted away for the Bobcats as seniors leadership began to take hold. Shots began to fall and stifling defense became the rule of the day. When denied the inside move the Bobcats answered with 15-foot jumpers from the baseline, seniors Pat Muldoon and Carson Fliger worked the paint as well as frustrating the Crusaders with post moves.
Senior Joe Gorman added a calming tempo that controlled the offensive pace and allowed the open three-pointers to bring a halftime lead that would soon see the Crusaders disappear in the Bobcats rear-view mirror. Up and down the floor went the home team getting quality minutes from their bench as Nick Fisher followed rebounds with made baskets and Ben Hazel dished assists into the paint. Jake Dale along with Gilliam flew to the basket with ease resulting in timely lay ups to stretch the lead.
Jahron McPherson and his fellow guards stole passes and frustrated the Wellington team over and over as the Bobcats soaked in the direction of their coaches and turned game plan into “Game Time.” In the end a 65-40 score gleamed on the scoreboard and sent the hometown fans scattering back to Basehor with a win in their back pocket and Coach Mike McBride and his undefeated squad on their way to Friday night’s rematch with long time post season rival Ottawa Cyclones.
Welcome to the Show
After the long, vigorous journey to Salina, I found myself standing in front of the Bicentennial Center. The last time I was here was my freshman year when we had won the 4A state basketball tournament. Now I was standing here to see our team continue the tradition. I walked in with the utmost confidence that we were going to win.
When the game started it was welcomed by a huge Basehor crowd. People were cheering and roaring, and some were screeching unfortunately. But I have to admit, I got a little worried. Wellington started out with their #23 draining a long three, and I was just like, “Ugh, this will be a long quarter.” Then our team started to regain their swagger and got the lead back by the end of quarter. I was finally at ease.
Once the first half was over, I of course went and got some popcorn for the rest of the show. And a show I was welcomed to. Right at the beginning of the second half, Brock Gilliam tossed up the oop to Pat Muldoon, and he slammed it, making the whole stadium go crazy. I even think Wellington was in awe of the dunk.
By the end of the game, I was happy with the result and couldn’t wait until we got to come back again on Friday. With a win of 65-40, who would’t be happy. But now will all of the excitement in the air, I could go back home with nothing but a positive attitude.