Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
In the home opener, Grace Pyle was on the verge of a triple double. On Tuesday, the junior starter led the McPherson High School girls basketball team with 27 points, career-high, in a 62-35 win over Buhler High School. The Bullpups improve to 4-0 and 1-0 in league play.
Everything went right for the Bullpups, especially offensively. McPherson shot 47 percent from the field, and 42 percent from the three-point line. Pyle alone shot 6 of 9 from behind the arc and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals. After leading 18-7 in the first quarter, Pyle went off by making three straight 3-pointers. The Bullpups were on a 16-0 run in the second. Buhler finally ended the run with a corner three but the damage was already done. McPherson led 44-13 at halftime. The Crusaders only scored six points in the second quarter.
“I thought our defense in the first half was really good,” Head Coach Chris Strathman said. “That led to a lot of easy baskets, which led us to get 44 total at the half, which is a very good scoring number at halftime so I thought the defensive effort was good overall.”
Kassidy Beam also reached double figures with 13 points. Cassie Cooks also added eight points, and Emma Malm and Ella Schmid tied for six. Strathman enjoyed watching his girls sharing the ball and staying sync offensively.
“I was really pleased as well with the kick-aheads that we had that led to transition baskets, but also with some extra passes we made at halfcourt,” Strathman said. “I thought the girls looked to make the extra pass tonight, which was good.”
By the end of the third quarter, it was running clock and Strathman gave his younger players some minutes and resting his starters. Buhler had two players finished in double figures, and was able to win in the rebound category, 29-21. Kara Stutterheim led the Lady Crusaders with 13 points. Alyvia Owens had a double-double performance with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
McPherson will be back on the road to take on Winfield High School on Friday at 6 p.m.