McPherson High’s boys get very little time to enjoy their monumental performance in the McPherson Invitational.
The Bullpups are right back at it here Tuesday when Andale comes to town for a battle of one-loss, state-ranked teams.
The freshmen tip things off at 4 p.m., the JVs play at 6:00, with the varsity at 7:30.
The Bullpups played three emotionally draining games to win their 22nd Invitational title over the weekend. They survived a double-overtime donnybrook with Shawnee Mission East on Thursday, took control of Friday’s game early to defeat Carroll, then outlasted state-ranked and once-beaten Lawrence Free State for the title.
Meanwhile, Andale went through a field of smaller-class schools to win the Adolph Rupp Classic in Halstead, including Saturday’s 72-48 no-sweat victory over Haven in the championship game.
This has developed into a great series as the recent meetings between the teams have been hotly contested. While the Indians suffered big losses from last year’s team that made state, they haven’t missed a beat and always field a team of high-caliber athletes.
“Both teams are coming off the high of a tournament victory,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. “They will be very similar to Free State in ability.”
Kinnamon said the Indians will try to play fast.
“They bring good pressure and really push the tempo,” he said.
In the championship game against Haven, it was sophomore Parker Bruce who stepped up big, scoring 18 points. For the most part, the team has been led by 6-6 Jeff Ast and 6-2 Clint Walstad. Ast, a top football player and track and field performer, is a load inside at about 265 pounds and has great feet and quickness for somebody his size. Walstad is a sharpshooter who can fill it up from long range. He had three 3-pointers and scored 21 points on Saturday.
After Tuesday, the Bullpups will get some much-needed rest as they are off until Feb. 5 when they go back on the road for the first time in a while at Dodge City.