McPherson falls short to Blue Valley in first round of MIT

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Sports Editor Peter Holland jr.

1st 2nd 3rd 4th F

McP 7 16 10 25 58

BV 14 15 14 21  64

The battle for fifth place begins for the McPherson High School boys basketball team. The Bullpups may put in a valiant effort against and Blue Valley High School, but it was not enough to get the win as they fall to the Tigers, 64-58 in the opening round of the McPherson Invitational.

Blue Valley had speed and liked to be in transition.  Once the Tigers make a defensive stop, it’s off to the races. Blue Valley shot 56 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three-point line. Head Coach Kurt Kinnamon was on his team’s defensive performance. 

“The game was lost in the first half when we couldn’t figure out who’ man was,” Kinnamon said. “It was that simple. No. 1 thing that I have still written in my whiteboard is to get back. I guess I should’ve said was get back and find your man.”

Jayton Alexander had another career night for the Bullpups. Similar to the Augusta game, he was playing with one leg as he’s been battling with an ankle injury the whole game. Yet the junior point guard dropped 19 points, four assists and three steals.  After trailing 30-22 at halftime, the Bullpups went on a 15-3 run, orchestrated by Alexander, who knocked back-to-back three-pointers and a pair of layups. It was at Bullpups had a slight lead. 

 

“It almost like he plays better when he has a sprained ankle,” Kinnamon said. “I’m not sure what his availability is for tomorrow’s going to be. That thing might swell up and he’ll tell me he’s good to go and go out there and fight on it. ”

In two minutes, Blue Valley answered back with a 15-4  run in the fourth quarter led Aidan Shaw, a 6-foot 7 sophomore as he made back-to-back buckets. He would eventually finish the night with 13 points. Time was running out for the Bullpups as they trailed 53-45 with less than three minutes left.

After back-to-back buckets by Cody Stufflebean and a three-pointer by Hayes Schmid, the Bullpups were only trailing by three, but once again, Blue Valley was in transition and couldn’t be stopped for the rest of the quarter. The Bullpups had no choice but to foul them and put them at the line. Kinnamon

I’m really proud of just how hard we fought. We came out and got right back in it and fought, and fought, and fought, and fought,” Kinnamon said.”The bottom line is Blue Valley is really good. They’re really good when they have a division-one big kid that is a hardcover on the perimeter for you, and they drive it and make you help, and they did a really good job of that. One thing that I can take as a positive is our kids didn’t quit.”

The Bullpups fall to 6-4 on the season. It’s unusual for the Bullpups to be on the other end of the bracket. Instead of getting ready for a Class 5A battle with Bishop Carroll. Instead, they now focus on Wichita North High School, which is scheduled for Friday at 4:45 p.m.  Blue Valley will take on Bishop Carroll at 8:15 p.m.

Final Stats

McPherson: Alexander 19 pts.,  Schmid 13 pts., Stufflebean 12 pts., Madron 7 pts.,  Eli Pyle 3 pts., Sam Pyle 2 pts.

Blue Valley: Blandi 14 pts., Shaw 13 pts., Young 10 pts., Stephens 10 pts., Wipperman 7 pts., Demo 6 pts.,  Peiman 2 pts., Hill 2 pts.”

Update Schedule 

No. 6 Junction City vs. No. 7 Topeka Seaman at 3 p.m.

No. 4 McPherson vs. No. 8 Wichita North at 4:45 p.m.

No. 2 Derby vs. No. 3 Lawrence Free State at 6:30 p.m.

No. 1 Bishop Carroll vs. No. 5 Blue Valley at 8:15 p.m.

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