The Leavenworth High basketball teams kicked off their 2018-19 seasons Thursday night.
The boys’ team began their year with new coach Prentes Potts at their annual Leavenworth Basketball Shootout. The Pioneers and Washington Wildcats faced off in the final game of the night in a 61-55 win by Washington.
The two teams traded baskets and the lead in the first half with the score tied at 19 after the first quarter and Washington up 27-25 at halftime.
The Wildcats would hold onto the lead as the Pioneers attempted a comeback. Washington would hold on and win.
Leavenworth senior Jarrett Hensley had a strong game for the Pioneers with 19 points, six blocks and six rebounds. Reece Williams had 12 points. JoVaughn Darthard, Michael Sauer and Nathan Dalby each had eight points for the Pioneers. Tywan Muturi led the Wildcats with 21 points. Alton Easley had 15 and Nathan Johnson was third with 12 points.
Potts said the 50-50 balls were a big part of the loss for the Pioneers.
“Washington is one of the scrappiest teams in 5A,” Potts said. “Doesn’t matter if they got bigs or smalls, that’s just how they are coached. I’ve been around coach (Eric) King for the last five years and he coaches his kids to play just like they played. They’re diving on the ground, getting every loose ball and our guys were late. Two seconds or three seconds late. You play like that and you’ll get beat.”
Potts also said a big thing that held the team back was themselves on Thursday.
“Our biggest thing is us,” he said. “We are the biggest thing in our way. We had 13 or 14 turnovers. That’s terrible. Couple of our guards had four or five. Bigs had about five. If we can’t value the ball more than we do, we will get beat every night.”
The Pioneers had a quick turnaround with the tournament continuing Friday night against Liberty.
After Thursday’s game, Potts said he will have to watch more film leading up to the game.
“I got to watch some more film on Liberty,” Potts said. “Liberty is tough. They got some size. They got (Grant) Stubbs who is pretty tough. He can score inside and out. I’m going to have to really look and see how we match up with them.”
The Pioneers will also play on Saturday to close out the tournament against Raytown South at 3:30 p.m.
The Pioneers girls’ team also began their season on Thursday night in a tournament. The Pioneers traveled to Joplin, Missouri, and beat the hosts 59-27 to start the year with a win.
The girls continued their tournament play on Friday against Carl Junction.
The Basehor-Linwood Bobcats continued their tournament play on Thursday night on the girls’ and boys’ sides.
The girls continued play at the Eudora tournament Thursday night against Paola. The Bobcats would fall 46-36.
Despite the loss, Lucy Lally continued her strong start for Bobcats with 13 points and 20 of the Bobcats’ 38 rebounds. Riley Tinder and Sami Fisher both were second on the team with six points each. Tinder also added eight more rebounds and led the team with four assists.
Head coach Jason Tatkenhorst said the team played well but Paola made more plays in the end.
“We did so many things well (Thursday) night,” Tatkenhorst said. “But Paola made a couple more plays than us at the end. We now find ourselves in the practice gym for a while which is what we need.”
The boys’ team was also in action Thursday night at the Liberty North tournament. The Bobcats faced St. Joseph Central.
The team was down 10-9 at the end of the first and quickly bounced back to go up 27-20 at halftime. The Bobcats never looked back and outscored Central 24-15 in the third to put the game away in a 67-52 win.
Head coach Mike McBride said the team played hard and showed signs of chemistry in the win.
“Kids played hard and started to show some signs of chemistry, as we still have only had nine practices with a full squad,” McBride said. “We made 10 3-point shots from five different players while (Jacob) Coleman led the team with five and he ended with a game-high 21 points. (Conner) Younger and (Cory) Davilla each had 12 while (Kobe) Sifford added 10 of his own. We play Liberty North (Friday) at 8:30 p.m. in the championship. And they are looking for some revenge as we upset them last year in an 810 Shootout game at St. Thomas.”
Basehor-Linwood will return to the court Dec. 14 at Shawnee Mission West. The girls’ game starts at 5:30 p.m. and the boys’ game starts at 7 p.m.