Bullpups host Rose Hill on Friday

By Steve Sell
January 14, 2016
Kendall Shaw

McPherson High’s boys still have one more item of business before next week’s McPherson Invitational.

The Bullpups, coming off a 68-61 victory in the mega-power matchup with Buhler on Tuesday, host Rose Hill on Friday as it will be their final tuneup before taking on Shawnee Mission East next Thursday.

The girls tip things off at 6 p.m., with the boys to follow. Catch every second of the action on 96.7 KBBE-FM beginning at 5:40 with Chris Swick on the call.

The MHS boys, 7-1 and ranked No. 2 in Class 4A Division I behind Basehor-Linwood, are in the perfect trap game situation if they allow it.

So coach Kurt Kinnamon’s emphasis in practice on Wednesday and today is to have all attention on the Rockets.

“We can't be looking forward to our tournament yet,” Kinnamon said, as the Rockets are 2-4 on the year with league wins over El Dorado and Winfield. “They are improved over last year with more experience returning. Parker Austin runs the show and has a good handle. Brett Bonar is an experienced player as is Ross Nolan. They don't have a lot of size, but play aggressive man-to-man and at times play a matchup zone that is hard to identify.”

The Bullpups played at a rarefied level on Tuesday in the rivalry game with Buhler. Drew Pyle overcame foul trouble to score 21 points, while Ben Pyle was the glue with 18 points and kept the team afloat when his big brother was on the bench. Spenser Wine furnished 13 clutch points and the ever-hustling Jacob Loecker snagged eight rebounds. Marcus McDaniel did a good job of handling the ball against the intense pressure of the Buhler guards.

Following Friday’s game, the McPherson High boys will be signing team posters, so all youth are urged to stay after the game and take advantage of this opportunity.

The Bullpup girls also have to avoid a letdown as they put a lot of emotion into their 53-18 rout of Buhler, a defensive masterpiece that saw them limit Buhler All-Stater Jessica Steffen to just 2 of 14 from the field.

The Bullpups are 5-0 in AVCTL Division III play and 8-0 overall.

They’ll be facing a Rose Hill team that has been buoyed by the recent addition of 6-1 transfer Kylie Woods. In fact, it could very well be the top challenger to the Bullpups for league supremacy.

The Rockets were a surprise state qualifier last year, but it won’t be a surprise this year if they make it. They have many of those same players back and MHS coach Chris Strathman said all he needs to know is that the Rockets pasted Augusta 55-34 on Tuesday, a team MHS struggled with for most of three quarters last week.

“Rose Hill is very much improved,” Strathman said. “Their sophomores became juniors and you can just see their confidence growing as they are really attacking. The post transfer, 6-1 Kylie Woods, also gives them exactly what they were missing.  They have three good athletes and players that saw a lot of time last year on their state qualifying team— Anna Van Driel, McKenzie Herman and Kayna Simoneau.  They match up well with us as far as size. Hopefully we can get some good contributions from our bench again because I do think our overall depth is stronger.”