ABILENE — McPherson High’s girls could not have picked a better time to share the wealth.
For three games the Bullpups had greatly relied on the 1-2 sophomore punch of Taylor Robertson and Mandi Cooks, but in Tuesday’s hard-earned 61-50 victory over state-ranked Abilene they had a lot of help.
Kamryn Collins came off the bench for 16 points and Emma Yowell found her 3-point stroke to score 11 to augment the 16 put up by Robertson and 11 by Cooks.
"It was really good to see those other kids step up," said MHS coach Chris Strathman, whose No. 2-ranked team improved to 4-0 while handing the No. 7 Cowgirls their first loss after three lopsided victories. "Emma has really been struggling from the perimeter and those were her first 3-pointers that she's made all year, but she's really been shooting well in practice. It's good to see her break out. Kamryn did a really good job of attacking the basket. She had a fantastic night. She really came to play tonight. Those kids stepping up tonight was a huge, huge key for us."
As good as the offense was, the team defense was just as good. The Bullpups limited 6-0 Fort Hays State signee Belle Barbieri to eight points and while Washburn commit Carla Donley hit for 18, she needed 17 shots.
The Bullpups took control of the game early, leading by as many as nine points in the first half before settling for a 30-22 lead. Abilene did make one run in the third quarter, getting as close as five, but MHS retaliated by scoring the next seven points and then protected that lead in the fourth quarter with its deliberate offense.
The Bullpups won despite Robertson and Cooks taking only 15 of the team’s 48 field goal attempts, which shows they can win with their scoring leaders having their shots limited.
In the JV game, Collins also was immense in her short two-quarter stint as she scored 17 points in a 41-33 Bullpup win.
The freshman score was not available as the game was being played late at another gym. It will be reported upon receipt.
MHS now prepares for Friday's annual trip to Kansas City for the Hy-Vee Shootout. MHS plays the 4 p.m. game against Lee's Summit, a team that Strathman said is extremely quick and wants to play at a fast pace.
MHS (61) — Yowell 3-8, 2-2, 11; Schmidt 1-5, 0-0 2; Collins 6-8, 3-6, 16; Schieferecke 2-5, 1-2, 5; Robertson 4-8, 7-7, 16; Bruner 0-2, 0-0, 0; Cooks 5-7, 1-1, 11; Ulsaker 0-5, 0-0, 0. Totals — 21-48, 14-18, 61. 3-pointers — Yowell 3, Collins 1, Robertson 1.
Abilene (50) — Clark 0-1, 0-0, 0; Schwarting 0-1, 0-0, 0; Gassman 3-5, 0-0, 6; Donley 7-17, 4-6 18; Collette 1-4, 0-0, 2; Barbieri 4-9, 0-1, 8; Funston 5-15, 1-3, 10; Hayes 2-3, 0-0, 4; Hess 1-4, 0-0, 2. Totals — 23-59, 5-10
MHS JV (41) — Collins 17, Hageman 5, Schrader 5, Yowell 3, Bruner 3, Heidebrecht 4, E. Ellet 2, Leaf 2.