MHS cagers host El Dorado Tuesday

By Steve Sell
February 15, 2016
File -Kendall Shaw

McPherson High’s basketball teams return to the Roundhouse for a three-game homestand, starting with El Dorado on Tuesday.

Game time is 6 p.m. for the girls, with the boys to follow. Follow all the action on 96.7 KBBE-FM with Chris Swick on the call.

There will be no freshman girls game and just two quarters being played in the girls’ JV game because of a lack of players for El Dorado. The JV girls’ game has been moved to 4 p.m.

Both MHS teams opened their seasons with lopsided victories over El Dorado in December, but the Wildcat teams have shown much improvement since then.

“Seeing them on film, I have been impressed with how far they have come since the beginning of the season,” MHS girls coach Chris Strathman said. “A lot of credit to (McPherson High graduate and El Dorado coach) Jordan Crawford for that, but also his girls for really buying in. It looks like they are really playing hard and for each other.”

MHS is 7-0 in league games and 14-2 overall. The Bullpups basically have nailed down the top sub-state seed, so they’re trying to stay sharp over the final two weeks of the season.

El Dorado has been playing a lot of teams tough.

“They are coming off a last-second loss to Buhler, so they will be eager to get back on the court,” Strathman said. “They have already won a few more games than last year, which was their goal, so they are looking to add to that down the stretch.  They have the athleticism and length to give us problems. Combine that with their sustained effort and we definitely have to be ready.”

If the McPherson High boys shoot it the way they did on Friday against Rose Hill, it won’t matter what the Wildcats do. Brothers Drew and Ben Pyle combined to make 14 of 16 shots in the first half, 9 of 11 from 3-point as as they scored 39 points before the break. As a team, MHS was 10 of 13 from beyond the arc just in the first half.

El Dorado could be physically overmatched, so it may have to try different schemes to stay in the game.

“They play hard and have a good plan for playing against a team that pressures,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. “They make up for a lack of size with quickness. We have to maintain focus because of the importance of seeding for sub-state. At this point this team should be mature enough not to overlook anyone.”

MHS is 15-1 overall, two games up on Hays for the No. 1 sub-state seed. If form holds, then Hays and Buhler would have to play in a first-round sub-state game out in Ulysses, which should be a headknocker.