KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It appeared McPherson High girls basketball coach Chris Strathman was going to be able to relax the final couple of minutes and enjoy his 200th win as Bullpup coach.
The Bullpups had a 16-point lead over Lee’s Summit with just under 6 minutes to go on Friday in the Hy-Vee Shootout and closing it out seemed to be a mere formality.
But the Bullpups then turned to ice at the foul line and got a little loose with the basketball. However, the cushion was just enough for MHS to come away with a 44-41 victory in its final Hy-Vee appearance.
“It was a good win for us,” said Strathman, now 200-44 as head coach with two state championships as well as four as an assistant. “Lee’s Summit is a tough team with some good athletes. They can spread you out, they can attack the basket, they can hit 3s. We did a great job tonight overall of defending the ball screens and things they run.”
The Bullpups improved to 5-0 with a 12-3 second-quarter sizz turning the tide as Kamryn Collins came off the bench to provide a spark by making all three of her shots. They took a 26-15 lead into halftime and even improved on it in the third quarter to take a 34-23 advantage into the final period.
The Tigers, after getting down 39-23, went on a 10-0 run, but the Bullpups made just enough free throws to finish it off. MHS was just 6 of 15 in the final period at the stripe.
“At the end of the game, it doesn’t get anywhere near that close if we do the job of making our free throws,” Strathman said. “And we made a couple of careless turnovers... we go to the locker room not feeling as good as we should have.”
But he quickly added it was a learning moment, something the Bullpups can harken back to later in the season.
Taylor Robertson led the Bullpups with 18 points, 12 of those coming in the first half. Mandi Cooks was next with eight.
Claire Lock, sister of starting Missouri quarterback Drew Lock, scored 11 of her 12 points in the second half as the Bullpups did a good job of keeping her in check before the break. Lee’s Summit fell to 6-3 on the season.
MHS oddly enough plays Jan. 5 at Winfield, a team it defeated 68-52 just last Friday.
MHS (44) — Yowell 4, Collins 7, Schieferecke 7, Robertson 18, Cooks 8.
Lee’s Summit (41) — Elston 10, Mosier 7, Johnson 3, Palmer 1, Lock 12, Burch 8.