Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
As the rivalry series between McPherson and Buhler High School continues on the basketball court, this season has added a little bit more stir in the pot.
In the last three games, Head Coach Kurt Kinnamon saw the good, the bad and the ugly which led to the 1-2 start from his McPherson High School boys basketball team. After going through the gauntlet, Kinnamon sees the identity of his Bullpups thus far.
“The best way to describe them is a great bunch of kids that are still trying to find their way. I believe in them and we will get it figured out,” Kinnamon said. “As we enter league play we have to become more consistent. We have had stretches when we have played very well. We have to eliminate those stretches when we have turned the ball over and not had good offensive possessions.”
The Bullpups will be tested again when the Crusaders come into the Roundhouse. Buhler is off to a 2-0 start, knocking off both Hutchinson and Salina South High School. One of Buhler’s strengths includes knocking down shots from behind the arc. The Crusaders are also led by McPherson transfer, Max Alexander. Alexander started his freshman year when he was a Bullpup and will make his return in the Roundhouse, but as a Crusader. Last week, he led Buhler with 27 points in win over Salina South. Isaac Leshore and Drake Dick could also be a threat to McPherson.
“Buhler is very good at penetrating and kicking to the open man and they have good shooters,” Kinnamon said. “A key for us is going to be to keep the ball out of the paint so that we do not have to help and leave shooters open. Offensively we have to take advantage of our strengths.”
As confident Kinnamon is with his Bullpups after the last two close games, One thing he hopes McPherson will improve on is the turnover battle. He also likes to see more production that is not named Seth Madron and Cody Stufflbean. Both finished with 18 points in McPherson’s loss to Derby.
“We need to do a better job of taking care of the ball,” Kinnamon said. “If we can cut down on our turnovers it will give us a better opportunity to win. I like our toughness and cohesiveness. We need to develop a deeper bench so that our starters are not so fatigued down the stretch.”
Tipoff for Tuesday’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. after the conclusion of the girls basketball game.