McPherson – All 8th-grade teams were in action last night against the Hesston Panthers. All 8th-grade teams were also victorious for a clean sweep!
The 8th-Grade boy’s A-team kicked off the action last night in what was their first game at the renovated municipal building, they won 56-20. They were dominant from the tip-off on, they outscored the Panthers 23-4 in the first quarter. The Bullpups’ aggressive defense prevented the Panthers from generating any type of coherent offense. The constant turnovers that Hesston suffered gave the Bullpups innumerable fastbreak opportunities. One player whose performance particularly stood out was Kreighton Kanitz. Kanitz got to any spot on the floor he wanted last night and finished with 12 points. Kanitz has a strong left hand which confuses some opponents. In addition to his scoring, Kanitz has an uncanny feel for the game; he dished out some great passes. Cory Muehler was also outstanding, as he put up twelve points as well. Coach Jay Crawford was happy with the defensive performance, “A-Team got off to a very good start by ending the first quarter 23-4. Our defense was really active, I have been putting Javyn Alexander on (the opposing) team’s point guard and he really made it difficult for Hesston to get into their offense.” Coach Crawford also noted the ball movement, “Our offensive sets are getting better but we can run them better and we will. The effort on both teams was really good and that made us proud. We are sharing the ball and that is nice, 8 players scored in the A-game and I like to see that.”. The A-team now has a 4-0 record.
The 8th-Grade boy’s B-team beat Hesston 53-31 and were nearly as dominant as the A-team. Henry Boese had one of the finest games of this young season, he scored 17 in a dominant performance. The team started off fast and immediately established momentum. There was a temporary lull halfway through the second quarter where it seemed the Bullpups’ basket had a lid on it, but they were able to persevere. Coach Grant Barrett credited this to set plays, “I told the guys at halftime that if we were able to make adjustments on simple things we’d be able to win by double digits. We were able to get some easy buckets from a couple set plays, and managed to find mismatches in the second half that Hesston did not have an answer for.”. This is a team that has been improving each game but still has potential for even more growth. The B-team now is 3-1.
The 8th-Grade ladies A-team beat Hesston, at Hesston, handily by a score of 57-16. The Bullpups’ full-court press made it extremely difficult for the Hesston offense. It seems to be an obvious statement, but if you only allow your opponent to average four points per quarter the defense is doing its job. What makes this game an even more impressive win for the ladies is that it was the first game after Thanksgiving break and they showed little rust. In a season that has been populated with highlights, Karter Alvord had another great game Monday night, scoring 18. Madi Moors and Kaya Lowery were right behind her, with 11 and 10 respectively. Coach TJ Jackson credited the win to tough defense, “Proud of the girls and their ability to come off of break and work hard. We really did well in our full-court press, and we have some work to do in our half-court man.”. This was another great win for the girls who move to 4-0.
The 8th-Grade ladies B-team played along with the 7th-Grade ladies B-team on Monday night. They beat Hesston 33-18. Bentley Smith was the leading point-getter for the 8th-graders, she scored six. Coach Ellie Wingert was enthused by the win, “The girls started our slow, but had a much better second half. Tonight was the first time 7th and 8th grade teams played together, so it was exciting to see the girls cheer each other on. We missed a lot of easy shots right under the basket, but continued to hustle the entire game!”. Coach Wingert acknowledged that the girls would have to endeavor to improve on their help defense and sticking with the ballhandler in man-to-man situations.
The 7th and 8th-Grade girls will play against Manhattan Eisenhower Tuesday afternoon at four, the boys won’t play again until they face Salina Lakewood on Thursday at four.