Finally, some scoring.
After three plodding games to start the Mid America Classic on Thursday, the host Bullpups and Shawnee Mission South gave the scoreboard a bit of a workout in the finale — mainly MHS.
The Bullpups used the 3-ball to their advantage in the first half, making a blazing 8 of 13, to pile up a 38-22 lead and went on for a 63-34 victory to advance to the 7:30 p.m. semifinals on Friday to take on Shawnee Mission Northwest.
"It worked out very, very well," said MHS coach Chris Strathman, whose team is now 11-0. "First-round match-ups are never a guarantee. We were fortunate to build a cushion and rest some of the kids. Effort-wise I thought it was pretty good for the most part. I wasn't happy with the offensive board total at halftime as they had 11, but we held them to two offensive boards in the second half. That's better focus on our part defensively."
Sophomore Taylor Robertson made 5 of 8 from beyond the arc in the first half and completed the game with 19 points. The Raiders hung tough early and clearly were better than their No. 8 seed, but fell prey to the long-range Bullpup bombing.
"It's fortunate that we shot the ball well (in the first half) because offensively it wasn't very smooth," Strathman said.
With standout sophomore post player Mandi Cooks playing only sparingly as she’s still trying to recover from a blow to the head against Andale, senior Ashtyn Schieferecke stepped up at both ends. She had seven points and eight rebounds in the first half alone and finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for her best performance of the year.
"It was good to see Ashtyn really attacking," Strathman said. "We got her in some spots tonight where the 6-foot (Caroline) Shelton girl was trying to guard her out on the perimeter and Ashtyn was able to attack and get her off the bounce a few times. That was good to see."
In fact, it was all hands on deck as MHS also received key bench minutes from Jordan Bruner and Emma Ellet as they combined to play 20, contributing six points and four rebounds.
Shelton kept the game from being totally out of hand in the first half with nine points and eight rebounds. South actually had a 22-15 rebounding advantage in the first half. She finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The only downer of the second half was that MHS had the Raiders in the double-bonus with 7:39 to go as it piled up the fouls, but the depth was a big factor as they were mostly spaced out.
Shawnee Mission Northwest now stands between MHS and an 18th trip to the finals.
"We've got our hands full," said Strathman, noting that 6-0 Drake signee Brenni Rose will be one of the best players his team will face this year and there's a couple of other players more than capable of stepping up.