WINFIELD— There’s nothing like ending the semester undefeated, and that was goal Head Coach Chris Strathman wanted for his McPherson High School girls basketball team. The Lady Pups answered that challenge by blowing out Winfield High School, 69-22, improving to 5-0 (2-0 in the AVCTL Division III league) on the season McPherson heads to winter break.
The Bullpups were up 28-0 from the start of the first quarter, something that is usually seen from a football scoreboard. Right from the jump, the Lady Pups went 3 for 3 from behind the arc in the first two minutes and 5 for 7 at halftime. Two in which came from Kassidy Beam. Beam was a sniper from the distance as she knocked four her three-pointers and finished with 21 points.
It didn’t take until 38 seconds left in the first quarter until Winfield put up one point before the second quarter. That’s how one-sided it was. By the time Winfield found a little bit of rhythm and reach double figures, the Bullpups were already 40-plus ahead.
“Girls had some awesome kick-outs too, even in transition or out of the post for open 3-point shooters,” Strathman said. “They did a great job of finding the shooters, obviously, Kassidy was on fire to start and Grace (Pyle) hit a couple there. It was tough for them to know who to guard.”
Cassie Cooks dominated the post. The senior had a career night as she led the Bullpups with 22 points, knocking 10 of 12 shots. Once she was open inside the paint, there was no stopping her. It also helped to have both Pyle and Malm make good-looking passes in the transitions. Malm had a total of eight assists, seven came in the first half of play.
“They don’t have anybody on the roster that is 5-foot-9 or above. Cassie can score over 6-foot or 6-foot-2. She’s going to be able to score if you give her the basketball,” Strathman said. “She had a great position and she got it close enough to the basket, she’s going to score.
“Emma Malm made some great passes in the post,” Strathman said. “It allowed easy baskets from inside and overall our girls played well, played together and had fun playing together. ”
Pyle took over in the third quarter. After only scoring five points in the first half, the junior shot 10 of her 15 shots and finished the night with 15 points, six assists and three steals. For the second game in a row, Bullpups forced a running clock, having Strathman rest his starters midway through the fourth quarter.
The Bullpups will enjoy their Christmas break undefeated. They will be back in the Roundhouse on Friday, Jan. 3, where they host Dodge City High School at 6 p.m. They will then travel to Kansas City to face Piper High School the next day.