Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
No rust came from the McPherson High School boys basketball team despite not playing for 10 days. The Bullpups defeated Augusta High School 67-51 and improve to 5-3 on the season. The Bullpups also remain undefeated AVCTL Division-III League and are top on the standings.
Three Bullpups reached double figures and shot 59 percent from the field. Cody Stufflebean tied a career-high with 23 points. Jayton Alexander set a career-high with 13 points and Eli Pyle came off the bench with 12. Seth Madron, who had two points in the first half, had a strong second half which led to a nine-point performance. Head Coach Kurt Kinnamon’s biggest takeaway was keeping the turnover ratio to a minimum.
“That was a nice complete win tonight and we only turned the ball over six times,” Kinnamon said. “Cody (Stufflebean) was the grand prize winner with five of the six. Those other guys did a fantastic job of taking care of the ball.”
The Bullpups had a 7-2 head start to start the first quarter and despite Augusta playing catch-up ball, the Bullpups had the edge. The Bullpups kept feeding the ball to Stufflebean as he had six early points in the first quarter and remained dominant in the paint despite having Zach Davidson, Augusta’s 6-foot-8 senior, breathing down his neck. Hayes Schmid knocked a 30-footer to end the first quarter as they led 14-9.
Buzzer beater alert 🚨🚨🚨
How bout that to end the first quarter )@hayes_schmid knocks a 3-pointer from behind the Bullpup logo at the buzzer.
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) January 15, 2020
McPherson’s defense held Augusta’s top scorer Jaren Jackson and Zach Davidson to 13 points each. McPherson had a comfortable lead at 20-12, but the Orioles kept crawling back as they trailed 23-18 at the 2:47 minute mark. The Bullpups led as high as 16 points.
“When you have a team that has a number of weapons and nobody can’t key on it and your assist and turnover are 2-1, you’re going to win. You couldn’t tell we had a long layoff. I’m really pleased with that.
After a 12-3 run, the game was tied with less than 30 seconds left. Pyle came to the rescue as he hit a corner-three to regain the lead before halftime.
“Eli hit some big 3s for us in the first half which made a little run and momentum kind of swung, and Eli did a great job of knocking those in,” Kinnamon said. “That was huge.”
Augusta captured its first lead after a three-pointer by Brendan Parker, but Stufflebean kept it even at 33 apiece with 4:41 left in the third quarter. The Bullpups turned it up in the fourth, outscoring Augusta 20-4 after it was tied 35 each. Madron got hot at the right time as he scored nine points in the second half. Alexander, who battling an ankle injury, fought through the fourth quarter as well by making the easy layups whenever he is wide open for a long pass.
“I really thought was Seth was really aggressive tonight, getting to the rim and he needs to be more aggressive than that because he is so explosive,” Kinnamon said.
The Bullpups will be back on the road to take El Dorado High School on Friday at 7:30 p.m.