Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
Photo Credit: Wilson Photography
1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Uly: 7 8 6 7 28
McP: 32 21 27 12 92
The McPherson High School girls basketball team is just warming up. The Lady Pups put on an offensive clinic on Ulysses High School with a 92-28 win in the opening round of the 25th annual Mid America Classic.
The Bullpups needed just four more points to tie their highest score in tournament history but did break two records for most points scored in a quarter un 32 and most points in a half with 53. Three Bullpups finished in double figures.
“I thought girls played with great energy and great focus all night, “Head Coach Chris Strathman said. “I challenged them to stay in single digits with turnovers with two but we ended up with 10. I told them that will be the first thing that we look at so we didn’t quite get in single digits like we wanted to. ”
Grace Pyle, who was in a slump in the past two games, finally got her groove back as she put on a double-double performance with 22 points and 10 rebounds. She also added six assists, including a last-second pass to Ruddle for a three-point basket with five seconds left in the second quarter, and she also recorded four steals. Strathman was pleased by the way she was finding her teammates.
Buzzer-Beater alert 🚨
This is how you end a d first half.
With 5 seconds left, Grace Pyle (@gracepyle24) finds Emma Ruddle (@emma_ruddle ) wide open for a 3 as the time expired.
— Peter Holland Jr (@_Da_pistol) January 31, 2020
“She has done a great job of finding open people and making the right passes so that was good to see,” Strathman said.
Kassidy Beam for the second-straight game tied for her career-high with 22 points and four assists. Ruddle added 12 points, four assists and three steals. Lakyn Schieferecke (9 pts.) and Cassie Cooks (8 pts.) were just shy of having the starting five reach double figures.
The Lady Pups put the pedal to the metal right from the get-go when they had an early 16-2 lead. By the time the Tigers reached double figures, McPherson was already ahead with 44 points. At halftime, McPherson was up 54-15. The Bullpups played lockdown defense with their full-court trap to create 13 total steals and put them in a fastbreak.
“We really pushed the basketball and we got out of our press, which was basically by the end of the first quarter, we stopped pressing,” Strathman said. “We did continue to get some transition baskets and good pitch a heads some easy buckets, and also pushing and kicking for some of those 3s than we got 2s.”
The offensive play did not miss a beat when it comes to sharing the ball, recording 20 total assists. The Bullpups didn’t slow down in the second half once Head Coach Strathman put in all of his reserves. The back-ups added 12 points alone in the fourth quarter. Ella Schmid picked up eight points. Lauren Labertew had four points but was highly active on the court as she added six rebounds and three blocks.
“We got everyone in like we wanted to for sure,” Strathman said. “Most of our starters were done in the third quarter so I honestly didn’t realize when we went t the fourth quarter, I thought there was going to be running clock. That’s why I had everyone out, even in the third quarter. But still, I wanted to get those kids out. They played enough.”
The Lady Pups improve to 11-0 this season and will take on Wellington High School on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Wellington is coming off a 58-52 win over Wichita Northwest High School. Strathman is expecting different kinds of defensive schemes by the Lady Crusaders.
“We fully expect a zone tomorrow night and we saw a 2-3 from Ulysses but Wellington is 3-2, 1-2-2 type zone,” Strathman said. “So it’s a little different way of attacking but we will be prepared.”
McPherson: Pyle 22 pts., Beam 22 pts. Ruddle 12 pts., Schieferecke 9 pts. Cooks 8 pts. , Schmid 8 pts., Labertew 4 pts., Pelzel 3 pts., Dukes 3 pts., Smith 1 pts.
Ulysses: Nagel 9 pts., Lerma 8 pts., Riley 3 pts., Garcia 3 pts., Baeza 3 pts., Kenny 2 pts.