MMS Basketball Recap

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Jayla McLeod looks to pass the ball to Gabriele Mason during the 8B game against Newton Thursday evening at McPherson Middle School. McLeod made six of the 23 points by MMS in the win over Newton Chisolm Middle School. [Teri Hansen]
Sports Writer Quincy Williams

The McPherson Middle school’s four basketball teams nearly completed a full sweep of Newton on Thursday night. The lone loss came in the 8B boy’s team game, and even in that loss, they held the lead going into the fourth. Overall, all four teams look to be in great shape going into Christmas Break.

The 8A girl’s team beat Newton 43-25, improving their record to 9-1. Their only loss came to a non-league opponent, Maize South. Karter Alvord and Alex Romero led the charge. They both scored in double-figures with 16 and 10 respectively. Alvord has scored in double-figures in every game except for a low-scoring affair against Salina Lakewood. Alvord is averaging 13.5 points per game.

“Other than  a moment or two we played unreal defense on ball and our help defense showed up in ways we haven’t seen yet,” Head Coach T.J. Jackson said. “Newton had a girl who was a great basketball player and she got her points, but our girls were in her face, our posts did great helping when she drove, and our girls we had playing her one on one played lights out.”

Jackson also said this was the best his team has looked all season offensively.

The 8B girl’s team beat Newton 23-21 in a nail biter. They moved to 6-2 on the season. Gabrielle Mason, Kyndall Sandbo and Jayla McLeod had eight, seven and six respectively. Head Coach Ellie Wingert was impressed with her team.

  Kyndall Sandbo takes a shot during the 8B game against Newton Thursday evening at McPherson Middle School. Sandbo had seven points in the low scoring game, in which the pups won 23-21. [Teri Hansen]
McPherson Middle School’s Alex Romero passes the ball during the 8A girls game against Newton, Thursday night. Romero was responsible for 10 of the points that won the game 43-25. [Teri Hansen]
“The girls played well tonight against Newton,” Wingert said. “We got off to a slow start defensively after jumping out to a quick lead. There were moments where we were outmatched and out-hustled in the first quarter, keeping the game pretty close. Once the girls settled in, our defense stepped up in big ways throughout the game to out-work Newton in each aspect of the game.”

The 8A boys team crushed Newton, 57-32 Thursday night behind a twenty point explosion from Javyn Alexander. Eight players scored in the game which is always a great sign of ball movement and offensive efficiency. Kreighton Kanitz continued the great season he’d been having with 14 points as well.

“Once again our defense was set by Javyn Alexander, who gave great on-ball pressure and it allowed us to get some steals and get out into the open court,” 8A Coach Jay Crawford said. “The players are really buying in on playing good team defense and doing it with a toughness about it.” Crawford also noted the grit of his roster, “We did a great job getting those 50 -50 ball which really shows how tough we are. As hard as the players play I knew we had to build a bench that would allow us to keep our defensive pressure going and we have and they are helping us wear teams down.”

Crawford’s team is averaging 52 points a game and only allowing 29. Crawford remarked on the impressiveness of these numbers when his team only plays six-minute quarters. The 8A boys carry a 6-0 record into the break.
The 8B boy’s team lost barely, 26-24 in overtime to Newton. Their team also had balanced scoring, with Kyden Thompson, Leyton Witte, and Alex Wheat all scoring six points. Coach Grant Barrett credited Newton’s come back to their shifting defenses in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“They changed up defenses late in the 4th quarter and overtime and were able to get in passing lanes,” Barrett said. “This was the first time this season we could see what we are made out of. I love seeing our guys compete, and work hard, unfortunately,  the ball just didn’t bounce our way tonight.”
Barret’s squad has a 4-2 record going into the break. The season resumes for all four teams on Jan. 6th against Salina Lakewood.
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