McPherson High’s basketball teams will finally leave all the comforts of home after a six-game stanza.
The Bullpups return to the road in a big way on Friday with the long (151 miles) journey to Dodge City that completes the four-year series between the schools.
Join Chris Swick for the call on 96.7 KBBE-FM beginning at 5:45, with the girls tipping off at 6:00. The boys will follow.
Both MHS teams had Tuesday night off.
The girls’ game will be the highlight as Dodge City has at times been ranked in Class 6A, while the 12-1 Bullpups are No. 3 in 4A Division I after losing for the first time in the McPherson Invitational.
“Their girls are very talented and experienced,” MHS coach Chris Strathman said. “They return everyone from last year's team and have been ranked for most of the season in 6A. They did go 1-2 last weekend in Newton, as they got beat by good Newton and Carroll teams. They have good athleticism and length at the guard spots as well as basically three girls right about 6-0 that play inside. Dodge will be another good road test for us. Hopefully we can continue a great week of practices after giving them the scheduled day off on Monday.”
The Bullpups were 2-1 in their tourney, with wins over 6A schools Shawnee Mission South and Manhattan. Strathman got a chance to use his bench extensively in the tournament as several players who have made only late-game appearances were thrown into the fire.
It will be a well-rested MHS boys team that takes to the court as the Bullpups will have had 10 days off since defeating state-ranked Andale.
“The layoff should not be a factor as we took some time to heal up and are eager to play, said MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon, whose team is 12-1.
Dodge always slows the game down with its myriad of zone defenses and it can play that way this year because of its length.
“Dodge starts a large lineup with a 6-6 post man and 6-4, 6-3 up front,” Kinnamon said. “They have played a lot of teams very close, including Maize and Hays. They will run different zone defenses and a little man-to-man to change the pace. Coach (Dennis) Hamilton has been doing it a long time so I am sure they will be well prepared for us.”
After Friday’s games, MHS returns home for four of its next five games.