Thursday night saw the Leavenworth Pioneers and Basehor-Linwood Bobcats in action as the winter sports season continues to start around Kansas.
Leavenworth swimming continued their season with their second straight day at competition. The Pioneers traveled to Shawnee Mission West for a triangular against Shawnee Mission West and Bonner Springs.
The Pioneers took first in the three-team meet with 122 points. The team of Jack Schilling, Curtis Springer, Kato Fischer and Weston Marshall earned another state consideration time in the 200 freestyle relay, just 1.5 seconds off of an automatic cut. Overall, the Pioneer swimmers earned 12 personal best times and 15 top three finishes. The Pioneers also claimed first in the 200 medley relay (Springer, Fischer, Marshall and Schilling), less than a second off their time from Wednesday night. Marshall and Springer were double event winners for the team in the 200 freestyle and 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, respectively. Schilling took first in the 500 freestyle and second in the 50 freestyle. Fischer finished in fourth right behind his teammate in the 50 freestyle and took second in 100 breaststroke.
Head coach Kaley Wittrock was pleased with her team’s effort for the second day in a row.
“The team did a good job of continuing to race hard after opening the season (Wednesday) in Lawrence,” Wittrock said. “I am pleased with their effort in trying to win head to head battles within their heats and the number of top three finishes. Both returners and new team members earned best times from last year and (Wednesday’s) times set. I am excited to continue training the next week and a half before our next competition.”
The Pioneers dive back into the pool Dec. 12 when they travel to Turner. It is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
The basketball teams began their season at home against the Eudora Cardinals.
The girl’s team traded the lead back and forth in the first half with the Cardinals with the Bobcats holding a lead after the first quarter and the Cardinals up 31-30 at halftime.
The Bobcats held on to a 45-42 lead with under six minutes to play before the Cardinals would take the lead and close out the game in a 54-47 win.
“I thought it was two good teams battling it out,” Bobcats girl’s basketball coach Jason Tatkenhorst said after the game. “First half was just punch-for-punch. The first quarter was probably a lot of fun to watch as a fan, I don’t know so much as a coach. It was up and down and girls were just making baskets. The third quarter, I thought we came out and played to our game plan. We had Riley (Tinder), Isabel (Sibert) and Lucy (Lally), really kind of our three bigs, working the lane. We either got a shot in the lane or got put-backs. We went up seven or nine points but kind of lost focus with that and never got the ball back in that inside, but give Eudora credit.”
Tatkenhorst said the key to the game was when Eudora ended the scoreless streak both teams had early in the fourth quarter. He said the team could have put doubt in the Eudora girls’ heads if they had scored one more basketball up 45-42, but they couldn’t and Eudora scored to eventually take the lead and win.
Lally led the team with a double-double on 19 points and 19 rebounds. Addison Penegar was also in double-digits in points with 15, all coming from 3-pointers. Tinder added 13 rebounds. The Cardinals turned the ball over 18 times compared to 11 for the Bobcats.
The coach said there are a lot of things that the team will need to fix moving forward.
“We have veterans,” he said. “A couple seniors, juniors and sophomores, but we still got plenty of youth. So many great things. Probably a lot of fun to watch the game, but yet there are a lot of things we need to get fixed. Pretty soon, after a few more games, we are going to call them all veterans. There will be no excuse (then). There is some youth out there and there were mistakes made. The good thing is, all those mistakes we feel like are fixable.”
Tatkenhorst said the team found out that they will have to play a strong 32 minutes of basketball and the team didn’t Thursday night.
The Bobcats will return to the court on Monday at Eudora for a tournament. They will face Bonner Springs at 6:30.
The boys’ team played after against the Cardinals in a 61-44 victory.
The Bobcats took the lead early and ended the first half up on top 33-21.
The team would continue to build the lead up before closing out the 17 point win.
Jacob Coleman led the team with 18 points on the night. Conner Younger and Nolan Ford both had 11, Kobe Stifford and Cory Davilla scored eight and Trevor McBride had five points.
Despite the large win, head coach Matt McBride said he felt like the team did not play well. With the mixture of Basehor-Linwood football making it to sub-state, players going on college visits, injuries, Thanksgiving and canceled school from weather limited the team’s number of practices leading up to the season-opener. McBride said he and the team do not want to use it as an excuse.
“We had a snow day on Monday,” McBride said. “So we didn’t get to practice Monday. So you go hard on Tuesday and we still had to go two hours (Wednesday) just to get everything in. So they’re probably leg-dead, tired and fighting through things. But I’m not trying to use that as an excuse and they are not either. That’s why we are not very happy right now. We just didn’t play well.
McBride said the team will have to keep grinding and return to patient basketball to play better moving forward.
“We just got to make sure we keep grinding at practice and get our legs back,” he said. “We got to get back to patient Bobcat basketball. Being at 5A level, we are not going to have a bunch of bigs so our big guys will have to stay in the game and we got to get a lot more patient on offense.”
The Bobcats will return to the court on Tuesday against Lincoln Prep at the Liberty North Invitational Tournament. The Bobcats are set to tip-off at 4 p.m.