Pirates Squeek by Bobcats

Piper Pirates 2017 Substate Champions

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

I talked about my plan in the previous article for Saturday’s games.  Everything was going great in the Schlagle vs Washington game and I looked to be at Piper before tip off.  When the first game when into OT it became obvious I was going to miss a good chunk of the game.  I got to Piper where it was standing room only to witness round three between Piper and Basehor-Linwood.

The first quarter the Piper Pirates seized early control of the game holding a 10-4 lead at the close of the quarter.  Jalen Taylor who would prove vital in this game late scored his only 4 points in the half.  The low score and runs would be an omen for the rest of the night.

In the second quarter Basehor-Linwood.  Basehor would close out the 2nd quarter on a 18-9 run and that 9 points by Piper was scored late in the quarter.  The Bobcats were working their tails off and being led by sophomore Jacob Coleman who scored 9 in the quarter.  Bryant Rogers saved the day for the Pirates with a break away dunk and 3 pointer late to cut into the Bobcat lead and squash the run they were on.  There was a bit of significance to what Rogers was able to do because it allowed Piper to seize momentum heading into the second half.
Piper started out the third quarter ready to not just take the lead but run away with the game.  The Pirates built a 30-24 lead which left the Bobcats shell shocked and forced a time out from Coach McBride to talk through some adjustments.  Those adjustments certainly settled the Bobcats down and in 2017 that means settle down on defense and that is exactly what they did clamping down once again on the Pirate offense who went stagnant the second part of the quarter.  After their 18-9 run in the first half the Bobcats stormed right back past the Pirates to take a 37-32 on the healthy 13-2 run.  Eric Scott, Nolan Ford, Coleman and Jackson Sherley provided the scoring in the quarter for the Bobcats.
Jackson Sherley fought foul trouble all night fouled out midway through the fourth quarter and another run by Piper.  Jalen Taylor who had been lost in the wilderness in the 2nd and 3rd quarter got his groove back with 2 vital 3 point plays.  Just like that the Pirates went on a 9-2 run to reclaim the lead at 41-39.
With 55 second remaining in the game Piper led 45-41 and was in prime position to win the game I am on a big time and pressure kick right now.  As time shrinks and pressure builds the mind almost goes into the toilet.  Only the true greats are still thinking at this point and these young men were leaving it on the floor from an effort perspective but there were some regrettable moments in that last minute that are not worth going through now.  In short Basehor made more plays, missed less free throws and made more shots down the stretch than Piper.  JJ Letcher who played his tail off during the game fouled out on a charge that setup the opportunity for Basehor to tie the game.  The Bobcats actually had the ball with a chance to win.

In OT Jalen Taylor was the beginning and the end of the story of this night.  He had two of the biggest 3 point plays of his career and provided a clear SHUKC POY case pushing Piper ahead in OT.  The Pirates won 54-52 to defeat Basehor-Linwood for a 3rd time this season.  Piper should lock down a top seed in Salina.
Shout out to coach Bryan Shelley.  I took this picture and could not help but think what thoughts must be going through his head.  Perhaps one day I could sit down and interview him to talk through it but I am sure Piper faithful understand what he went through to get to this moment right here.  He has done a great job and obvious candidate for our SHUKC Coach of the Year award.  Congrats to you coach!

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