Bobcats hungry to get back to state championship caliber basketball
Basehor-Linwood has not forgotten how last season ended – a 13-point loss to Piper in the first round of the playoffs.
“Last year was probably my second worst loss of all time,” said Michael McBride, who is entering his 18th season as the head coach of the Bobcats. “First time we had lost in the first round of the playoffs since 2006. We were 15-5, but we flopped.”
The loss has made Basehor-Linwood work harder as it prepares for the 2021-22 season.
“We’re hungry,” McBride said. “If you were in the gym the first two days, it was a whole new feel. We’re ready to go.”
The Bobcats return three starters from last season, including Michael’s son Trevor, who averaged 10.2 points, 4.4 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.2 rebounds per game at point guard.
“This is my son’s class, so we’ve been playing Bobcat basketball since third grade,” coach McBride said. “They have a lot of court sense, a lot of kids who know a lot about the game. They’re all kind of my babies. To have seven of them left is pretty special.”
Starters Carter Bergman (13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2 steals) and Ty Hofer (8 points, 3.3 rebounds) are also back.
McBride and Bergman were both second-team all-conference selections last season.
Basehor-Linwood will need to replace 23 points and 10 rebounds per game from last season.
“Carter and Trevor will get more shots,” McBride said. “We’re expecting their averages to go up. They’re a year older, a year better.”
McBride expects junior Tyson Ruud to make a big impact.
“He’s 6-5 and an incredibly athletic kid,” McBride said. “He makes us different. He can get way over the rim. He’s fun to watch. He’s going to surprise a lot of people. If he doesn’t average 12-13 (points) a game, I’d be shocked.”
Aidan Ford, a 5-9 senior guard, is also projected to start for the Bobcats. Aidan Ingram, Will Blankenship and Layton Rothwell should give the team depth.
“They’re going to be unselfish,” McBride said of this season’s team. “They’re going to run the offense and look for great shots. There’s not going to be anybody out there forcing stuff. They’re going to be very good defensively. They’re one of the best defensive teams I’ve had.”
McBride has won two state championships at Basehor-Linwood in 2009 and 2012. The Bobcats were runners-up in 2015 and 2019.
“With the experience coming back and the addition of some big-time newcomers, this team is ready to get back to state championship caliber basketball,” McBride said.