By RANDY GONZALES
1After finishing his first season as head boys' basketball coach at Cimarron High School, Losey would like to replicate that same atmosphere he enjoyed at Thomas More Prep-Marian.
Losey was in Hays on Saturday and Sunday, watching his players take part in a summer basketball tournament in a sweltering gym.
"I think summer is great for us," said Losey, whose Bluejays finished 11-11 last winter. "We open the gym two times a week, just get them playing."
Losey also was back in Hays during basketball season, when he watched his team lose to the Monarchs in Al Billinger Fieldhouse.
Losey planned to get together with his former and current Monarch coach, Joe Hertel, to pick his brain about the Monarchs' defense. Losey, a 1989 TMP graduate, remembered how a good defense can interrupt the grandest of dreams.
After TMP made it to the state basketball tournament in Losey's junior season, losing in the first round to eventual winner Atchison, the Monarchs made it back again Losey's senior season.
His senior year, TMP lost in the title game against Nickerson, then in the same league. TMP split with Nickerson during the regular season, first winning on the road, then losing at home when the Panthers threw a junk defense against the Monarchs.
"They played a nasty triangle-and-two defense, I'll never forget," Losey said. "We hadn't lost in two years (at home), and they came up and played a triangle-and-two (on Losey and Troy Schulte).
"They just kind of flustered us," he added. "We were ready for it the state game; we just missed a few free throws early, got behind, couldn't get back in it."
Losey, who transferred from Plainville to TMP before his sophomore year, started as a forward in basketball and also was the team's quarterback in the fall. The football team was successful, but like other Monarch squads couldn't get past Norton to make the playoffs.
"That just killed me," Losey said. "Norton beat us every year."
Just before his junior year, Coach Gene Flax died suddenly. Hertel was put in charge of the defense, and Danny Schmidt was in control of the offense. Schmidt was named the team's coach before Losey's senior year. Schmidt opened the offense up some, taking advantage of Losey's strong arm.
Losey had several school passing records until Jon Borer took over the program in 2010 and brought the spread offense with him. Quarterback Nick Hammeke took advantage, breaking Losey's record in the passing attack.
"I wish we would have thrown 300 times a year," Losey said with a grin.