McPherson High’s girls don’t mind playing fast.
But Lee’s Summit, their opponent at 4 p.m. on Friday in the Hy-Vee Shootout at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo., plays at a pace that may have the Bullpups considering a closing down of the throttle if at all possible.
Join Chris Swick for the play-by-play call on 96.7 KBBE-FM starting at 3:40 with the pre-game show. The game also will be televised locally for those Cox subscribers on Channel 22. This has become an annual pilgrimage for the Bullpups teams, one they look forward to.
“We know we have a tremendous challenge ahead on Friday, so things just keep getting progressively tougher through our first five games,” said MHS coach Chris Strathman, whose team moved to 4-0 on Tuesday with a 61-50 win over previously undefeated Abilene. “Kind of odd how that has held so true.”
Lee’s Summit plundered Fort Osage 63-25 on Tuesday, with balance a key as three players scored in double figures. Strathman admits the Tigers have no shortage of star players, as they have improved greatly from last year when they finished 11-14.
“Their point guard Paige Elston will be at least be a high (NCAA) D-II player in my opinion,” Strathman said. “She is just a junior and apparently missed most of last year, so she still may be a little under the radar for some schools. It won't take long though for her to be noticed by at least the smaller regional D-I schools.
“They also have a shooter, Mo Mosier, who had a game with 11 3s made last season,” Strathman said. “Throw in a couple 6-1 girls and you can see why we are excited about the challenge on Friday. Great opportunity for our girls to play this event, special as this is the last one we are contracted to play in, so we need to enjoy ourselves and hopefully compete and play very well.”
Another standout is Claire Lock, a 5-8 guard who averaged 12.5 points last year and comes from a high pedigree as her brother, Drew, is the starting quarterback for the Missouri Tigers’ football team.
Strathman said this team probably isn’t in the same class as Blue Springs, which defeated MHS in its first KC appearance in 2012 due in great part to the presence of two players who went on to play at Texas Tech and Drake.
“A very good, great defensive team,” Strathman said of Lee’s Summit. “They are definitely better than Lee's Summit North and St. Teresa's (MHS’ other opponents), no question there.”