18th Annual Bobcat Invitational Basketball Tournament

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Written by: Trinity Krouse, Reporter

This year marks the 18th year that Basehor-Linwood has hosted the Bobcat Invitational, a girls’ and boys’ varsity basketball tournament. The tournament included 10 boys teams, and eight girls varsity teams that took place from Jan. 15-20. The Basehor-Linwood boys finished in 5th place and the girls were able to take home 3rd place.

The boys’ kicked off the tournament against Shawnee Mission North, losing 51-59, putting them on the consolation side of the bracket. The team made some changes before going into the last two games.

“We just started to play as a team,” said boys head coach Michael McBride. “We started looking for each other, and moved the ball around. [We] became more unselfish and [were able to] understand what the game was about and what it took to become successful.”

They went on to beat Kansas City East High School, 67-37, and DeLaSalle, 74-36.

The girls’ first game had to be rescheduled to Jan. 17 due to a snow day. The game went back and forth until the Basehor-Linwood girls team brought in a win against Blue Valley, scoring 43-37. Winning the first game advanced them to the next round.

“Blue Valley has a good program,” said girls head coach Jason Tatkenhorst. “We lost to them last year, so it was a good win to beat them this year.”

The Ladycats had to compete with undefeated Benton in the semifinals. The girls weren’t able to break Benton’s winning streak of 15-0 after a score of 23-50.

The ladies had one last shot at getting a trophy in their final game. They had to go head to head with Holton, which was just beaten by Hayden. The Ladycats were able to keep a lead most of the game and won 45-36. They got the third place trophy, which hasn’t been done in four years.

“Our midseason tournament has been very tough in the past,” said Tatkenhorst. “Many times a team that was in our tournament ends up playing in the State championship game either on the Missouri or Kansas side, so it is difficult to place in our tournament.  We are proud of our 3rd place finish, but also hope that it is a building block into placing even higher in our tournament next year.”

Benton remained undefeated in the finals against Hayden, scoring 52-34, and winning first place in the ladies tournament. As for the boys tournament,  Shawnee Mission North defeated Schlagle, 56-51.