By Sports Editor, Peter Holland Jr.
It was not the game that Head Coach Kurt Kinnamon envisioned for his McPherson High School boys basketball team’s home opener, and yet it was more Andover High School putting teams on notice that the Trojans are the real after beating the Bullpups in their home court, 82-63, giving McPherson its first loss on the season.
The first half was completely one-sided. The Trojans were already in 14-1 run to start the first quarter, and the Bullpups were just overwhelmed and overpowered by Andover’s size and athleticism. It wasn’t until 2:32 in the first that Bullpups finally made some shots but was already down 21-7 by the end of the first quarter, and then 45-23 going into the locker room.
Shots were flying everywhere for Andover, especially from behind the arc. Andover shot 15 of 24 from the 3-point line and five reached double figures with Jack Johnson leading the Trojans with 20 points. It also didn’t help toward the favor of the Bullpups as they allowed 15 turnovers, 12 came in the first half.
“You give up 82 points you’re going to get beat,” Kinnamon said. “When you give up 15 of 24 from 3, you’re going to get beat. When you turn it over 12 times in the first half, you’re going to get beat.”
The Bullpups showed some fight in the second half, putting up 19 points over Andover’s 15 in the third. However, Johnson of Andover had 11 of those 15 points which kept McPherson grounded. Even though the Bullpups limited their turnovers, foul troubles caught up to them with four players fouled out the whole game. Seth Madron was the top performer with 21 points. Cody Stufflebean and Jayton Alexander tied for 11 points, and Hayes Schmid had nine points.
“Give them credit, I told the guys (after the game) those guys will beat Andover Central,” Kinnamon said. “They’ll beat anybody if they shoot it like that. They’re a very good team. Every time it would seem we’d make a little run they’d hit a big 3. We had a really hard time keeping (Keith) Gaddis in front of us. A lot of straight-line drives. Then when we would help, they’d knock it down.”
The Bullpups hope to bounceback next week when they travel on the road to take on the reigning chams Andover Central High School on Tuesday and Derby on Friday. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.