Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
KANSAS CITY, KS.—It came down which team will make the most free-throws. The McPherson High School girls basketball team might not have the best shooting performance but found a way to beat Piper High School 44-38 in the 810 Varsity Showcase. The Lady Pups improve to 7-0 on the season.
“Beating Piper on their own floor in this special event I thought was a big win for us,” Head Coach Chris Strathman said. Fortunately, we were able to hold on. They had some good runs at us.
Piper, already coming off a one-point loss to St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday night, was in another tight ballgame with McPherson. It was low-scoring first half due to both aggressive defenses. However, McPherson struggled to find its shooting rhythm and turnovers. Strathman was impressed by Piper’s size and quickness in which gave McPherson a hard time, especially defensively.
“I have to give credit to Piper,” Strathman said. “They were better in half-court defense then I thought they would be. they were really tough to get around. It’s not exactly dribble-drive stuff, but we put the ball on the floor a lot and they just guarded everything well.”
The Bullpups led the first two quarters, but after a buzzer-beating layup by Piper’s Riley Porter, the Pirates had the momentum as it set up a 7-0 run to start the third quarter after trailing 20-16.
As the Bullpups continued to struggle to make their usual three-point shots, the Pirates were making their shots in the nick time as they held a slight 30-29 lead by the end of the third.
“We could never string together several baskets in a row. It was a struggle to score tonight,” Strathman said. “It could’ve ended probably in the 50s or 60s score-wise as far as the style we like to play and the style they like to play.”
The Lady Pups regained the lead after a three-point basket by Lakyn Schiefrecke, but Piper wouldn’t go away easily. Less than five minutes, both are tied at 34 apiece. A Cassie Cooks layup and two made extra free-throw by Grace Pyle gave McPherson a 38-36 with 49.9 seconds left. Piper missed five costly free throws, while McPherson made seven of their last nine that sealed the deal for McPherson. Pyle and Cooks were McPherson’s top scorer as they tied for 12 points.
McPherson will be off on Tuesday and will return on Friday when they travel Towanda to face Circle High School at 6 p.m. Circle is also undefeated.
Lakyn Schieferecke 3 2
Emma Malm 1 1
Kassidy Beam 3 3 2
Grace Pyle 3 1 2 2 2 2
Cassie Cooks 2 2 2 2
Lauren Labertew 1 1
3 Evelyn Vazquez
12 Riley Porter
15 Grace Banes
23 Ayreona Carter