DERBY — The basketball season for the McPherson eighth-grade boys came to an end on Tuesday with a 49-44 loss to No. 2-seed Newton in the semifinals of the Pioneer League Tournament.
Hayes Schmid fired in 17 points and Cody Stufflebean tallied 10 to lead MMS, which finished the season with a 7-8 record.
“Our team came to play tonight,” MMS coach Tyler Brown said. “After a 17-point loss at Newton on their home floor almost a month ago, we had a second chance tonight to show them how we could truly play. We gave Newton an extremely tough battle tonight. After Cody Stufflebean had to sit most of the first half due to foul trouble and Kaleb Hoppes having to sit a handful of minutes in the second quarter due to fouls, I felt we did an excellent job staying in the fight even leading at halftime by one point 16-15.”
Schmid’s hot shooting gave the Bullpups a chance.
“Hayes Schmid was the equalizer of keeping us in the game with 15 of his 17 points coming from behind the arc (five 3-pointers),” Brown said. “Newton was just a little too much for us down the stretch to where we had to foul late in the game in hopes to get the ball back in our hands and Newton was able to knock down their free throw shots to close us out by five points.”
Brown says he sees a bright future for this group.
“Some may look at our record and think we were not successful, but I can honestly say those people could not be more wrong,” Brown said. “The fact that we went from losing to a team by 17 points to going toe-to-toe with them in tournament play to end the year just shows the growth and how much this team improved from start to finish. This team will win a lot of games when they get up to the high school level.”
MMS (44) — Schmid 17, Stufflebean 10, Courtney 8, Ricahrdson 5, Hoppes 4.