Lady Pups shut down Dodge City at home

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Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.

It’s safe to say, the McPherson High School girls basketball team has not missed a beat after its Christmas break. Before the Lady Pups make their trip to Kansas City on Saturday, they have to take care of business at home. The Lady Pups blew out Dodge City High School 51-30.

The Bullpups shot 9 for 15 (60 percent) from the three-point line led by the shooting duo of Grace Pyle and Kassidy Beam. Beam, who was 4 or 6 from behind the arc, was the top scorer with 14 points. Pyle came three assists short of a triple-double performance but finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.  All of Pyle’s points came from her 3-point shot. Most of Pyle’s passes were to Cassie Cooks, who also picked up 12 points for McPherson.

 

“There were clean looks and we didn’t take any bad ones at either,” Head Coach Chris Strathman said. “When you shoot 9 for 15 from 3, that’s obviously pretty darn good, but we didn’t take any bad shots that were great to see. Good inside play from Cassie (Cooks) tonight.

The only thing is they put Okoro on Grace because Okoro is such a great athlete but that left Johnson, a guard, inside on Cassie.  So that was an interesting matchup. We kind of exploit that as much as we could and Cassie did a good job finishing.”

Lakyn Schieferecke also made her return to the starting lineup after being sidelined due to a torn ACL injury. She played 16 minutes, 10 in the first half, which was Strathman’s plan as the senior point guard work her way back to full form. She finished with two points, three assists and three rebounds.

“I thought she did well,” Strathman said. “She had to get her feet back underneath her in-game action. Tonight was a good night to do that with the margin we had.”

The Bullpups started off on an 11-0 run in the first five minutes and led 17-4 by end of the first quarter. The Bullpups offense was in sync as they shot 6 for 9 from the three-point line and 48 percent by end of the first half.

On the defensive side, the Bullpups managed to keep Dodge City’s best player Kisi Unruh scoreless as she only had two points. Camree Johnson was the Demon’s productive player in the first half but was scoreless in the second. Johnson still led the Demons with 11 points

“This is a team that can score a lot of points,” Strathman said. “The Unruh girl in particular averages 18 or 19 points and to go without a field goal, she was super frustrated. I thought Kassidy Beam had the primary job on her. Kassidy was locked in on her and played a great game defensively on Unruh. Overall we did a good on their three good players, which are (Kisi) Unruh, (Chidera) Okoro and (Camree) Johnson. We just defended well.”

It was a defensive game majority of the third quarter. Just before the clock reached two minutes, Beam nailed a corner-three with the assist by Peyton Howard. Pyle added another three-pointer before the end of the third as they led 40-19.

The Bullpups went on an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter. The starters played three minutes of basketball before Head Coach Chris Strathman took them out for a rest with less than four minutes left to spare.

Now that Dodge City is out of the way, the Lady Pups now have their eys on Piper High School. Piper is coming off a 35-34 loss to Class 5A reigning champs, St. Thomas Aquinas.  Strathman knows what the Pirates are capable of.

“Our kids obviously knew that they’ll be good,” Strathman said. “When you see on Twitter already that there’s a video of (Molly) Harnett hitting those free throws to win the game late, and Aquinas beat them by one, our girls definitely know now that we’re not kidding and Piper is a really good team. So we will have our handsful tonight and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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