The McPherson Middle School teams were back in action Thursday night, and all four were victorious. The boy’s A-team started the action with a 55-33 blowout win over the Salina Lakewood Mustangs. The Bullpups led 29-18 after the first half but allowed too many Mustang transition points. Coach Crawford said, “We talked at the half about locating the ball and containing it and getting it out of the middle of the court.”. The Bullpups only allowed 15 points the rest of the game, while scoring 24 themselves. Coach Crawford was especially happy with the threes his team hit, “We made 7 3-point shots and our guards know they have the green light to shoot them. Alex Robertson hit 4, Owen Pyle had 2 and Cory Muehler pitched in with 1.” Kreighton Kanitz relentlessly attacked the paint, he finished with 18 points. Coach Crawford noted some improvements his team still needs to make after the game, “We still need to work on our dribble drive offense and get the ball going downhill and reading each other better.” The boys improved to 5-0 on the season.
The B-team also beat their Salina Lakewood counterparts 39-28. They were led in scoring by Gavin Wedel, who scored 13 points. Coach Grant Barrett liked his team’s aggressiveness, “We did a great job of pressuring them from the start.” Alex Robertson had one of his best games of the season, scoring nine points. Coach Barrett chalked his team’s performance up to a good practice and being at home, “It seemed to help being back on our home court and seeing shots go in just like we practice the day before. Coach and I are big on having a good practice before a game. Yesterday the boys came to practice focused knowing that if we executed our sets and play Bullpup basketball we would be able to come out on top today like we did.” The boys are now 4-1 on the season.
The girls A-team had their closest win of the season Thursday night, beating Salina Lakewood 30-23. Alex Romero had her best game of the season Thursday night, she scored nine sorely-needed points. Coach T.J. Jackson was thrilled with the girl’s collective performance, “We are so proud of the ladies. Both games we saw the girls show improvements in so many areas. The girls were looking forward to this game and knew Lakewood would be our first challenge this year. This was the first time all year we would be behind.” The team’s two main point scorers this season, Karter Alvord and Madi Moors, were held to six and three points respectively. This was mostly due to foul trouble, which Jackson discussed, “We got into foul trouble early so we had to call on our bench very early and it ended up being a great thing as every single girl that got on the court gave so much to this win. We went into half down by 1, and from there you saw a shift in our ladies.” The Bullpups were able to right the ship in the second half. Jackson credited this to forcing the Mustangs into taking tougher shots. The girls move to 7-0 on the season.
The girls’ B-team beat Salina Lakewood 36-30. Jayla McLeod and Kyndall Sandbo were both dominant, scoring 13 and 11 respectively. Coach Ellie Wingert’s remarks after the game, “The girls played incredibly hard tonight and came away with a victory. They did a much better job of running through their offense and driving to the hoop. We were tied at half time, and down at the end of the 3rd quarter, but were able to come back and score 18 points in the 4th to give the girls a nice win. Every girl contributed to this victory by playing fantastic defense, and being aggressive on both ends of the court. We are so proud of how these girls played together as a team tonight.”