By Sports Editor, Peter Holland Jr.
The McPherson High School boys and girls basketball team will be down in the metro area this week. While the girls look to continue to show their dominance, the boys are still in search of their first win on the season, starting on Tuesday at Andover Central High School.
For the girls, Chris Strathman hopes to continue the momentum after crushing Andover, 62-20 last Friday. Kassidy Beam and Emma Malm stepped up big as first-time starters with the absence of Lakyn Schiferecke and Emma Ruddle. The Bullpups stayed in sync from both sides of the field with four players finishing in double figures. When asked what’s the best strength for Mcpherson, there was no question is their ball movements offensively.
“I think we both played great team ball,” Malm said. “We play unselfish ball and I think that’s the best part about it. ”
The Lady Jaguars are coming off a 53-41 win over Maize South in their home opener last Friday. Last season when the two faced off, the Bullpups were victorious, 47-29. Strathman knows that the Lady Jags are a better team than they were last season and will make sure they won’t keep their guard down.
“I don’t think we have to do anything special to get their attention,” Strathman said. “Andover Central, we handed to them pretty easily last year but they are young and have some great skilled players and good athletes.”We’re looking forward to it. We have a good week ahead. They going to face some challenges and get better. We’re going to find a way to get better for sure. ”
It might get uglier before it gets prettier for the McPherson boys and the last thing Head Coach Kurt Kinnamon is to go 0-2 for the second straight season. The 82-63 loss to Andover High School last Friday was probably the wake-up call the Bullpups needed after only returning one starter from last season. As they begin their road gauntlet at Andover Central, and then Derby High School on Friday, Kinnamon still have high hopes for his boys as they continue to grow and gain more experience.
“I think we’re a very good basketball team but we have some things that opened our eyes a bit because, in all honesty, I thought we be better,” Kinnamon said. “So there are some things that we need to work on from a number of standpoints.”
Andover Central is the reigning Class 5A champs and is already off to a fast start after running over Maize South School, 70-49. Leading the Jags was Xavier Bell, who dropped 25 points on the Mavericks. As much of a handful Bell will be, the Jags, in general, have all-around athletes that could give the Bullpups some problems.
“Xavier is going to be the show. He’s really good,” Kinnamon said. “They also have a good 6-foo-5 kid who’s pretty active and stuff,” Kinnamon said.
Tipoff for Tuesday’s game will be at 6 p.m. for girls basketball, and then 7:30 p.m. for the boys.