McPherson High’s basketball teams are finally coming home.
After opening the season with two road games, the Bullpups are home for the one-and-only time in December as Winfield pays a visit on Friday.
The action begins at 6 p.m. with the girls’ game, with the boys to follow.
Both games will be carried on 96.7 KBBE-FM, with Chris Swick handling the play-by-play call.
It promises to be an electric night. Not only do the hometown fans get to see their teams for the first time at the Roundhouse, it’s Wall of Fame Night.
Being inducted are Emily Ediger, Camry Holle, Kristina Barrow, Kyler Kinnamon, Nicole Gieselman and Jim Post. State championship banners will be raised for the MHS boys basketball team and MHS boys tennis team.
“Friday will be a game of avoiding distractions,” said MHS boys coach Kurt Kinnamon, who will be presenting his son for his induction so it should be an emotional night for him as well. “It is going to be fun to be at home for the first and only time before Christmas. I know that our kids are looking forward to it. They are excited to be raising that banner.”
Of course, there’s a game to play. The MHS boys will be attempting to extend their winning streak to 43 games against a Winfield team that did not play on Tuesday after opening its season against Arkansas City, losing 61-47.
Longtime standout and scoring machine Will Adler has graduated, so the Vikings are rebuilding around 6-6 Layke Hoffman. The rest of the Vikings’ lineup is relatively inexperienced.
“Winfield plays some man-to-man (defense), but I am hoping for some junk defense just so that we can get a look at it,” said Kinnamon, as so far this season the offense has been led by brothers Drew and Ben Pyle. Drew is averaging 27.5 points a game and Ben 15.
Kinnamon also is hoping his team can clean up some of its mechanical errors. It has committed more turnovers in the first two games than most of his teams in past years.
In the girls’ game, the Bullpups will try to move to 3-0 against a Winfield team that is 0-1, losing 49-40 to arch-rival Arkansas City last Friday.
“Winfield opened their season with a loss against Ark City and then had Tuesday night off, so they were able to be at our Andover game so that is a bit of an advantage for them,” MHS coach Chris Strathman said. “They are apparently fighting some injury issues, so I am not fully sure if they will have all of their girls back or not, to be honest. Winfield does have some talented girls, and definitely a couple players that we can't let get comfortable from the perimeter.”
Like Kinnamon, Strathman is hoping his team can develop some balance. Taylor Robertson has averaged 25 points through the first two games and Mandi Cooks is next at 10. Both players, however, have been highly efficient as they are shooting well north of 50 percent from the field.
Maybe getting back home, however, will get the offense operating a little more smoothly as through two games the Bullpups have relied on their defense for two easy wins.
“The girls are very excited to play at home after a couple of games on the road,” Strathman said. “Friday nights in the Roundhouse are pretty special, this one even more so with the Wall of Fame event. I am looking forward to being a part of Kristina Barrow's induction. It’s a great honor for one of our former fan favorites.”