McPherson High basketball fans were witnesses to some of the most amazing shooting in the storied Bullpup history last week.
It started on Tuesday when Bullpup sophomore Taylor Robertson broke her own school record with 43 points, eclipsing the 41 she scored last year against Rose Hill.
Robertson’s shooting conjures up memories of Moundridge’s Laurie Koehn, who went on to play at Kansas State, in the WNBA and internationally. Koehn was one of the greatest shooters I’ve ever seen, male or female. She virtually has every scoring record in the Mid America Classic when Moundridge as an annual participant.
Robertson’s performance Tuesday against Great Bend was phenomenal. She needed only 18 shots to score her 43 points, making 14. She was 8 of 9 from 3-point and 7 of 7 from the free throw line, where she’s shooting better than 90 percent.
Robertson is a self-made player. She has spent countless hours perfecting her beautiful touch. When her feet are set and she has an open look, it’s almost a shock when the ball doesn’t go in.
Teams, of course, have now taken to putting two players on her or throwing up a box-and-one. That gives her teammates wide-open looks, one reason the Bullpups generally have a good number of 3-pointers every game.
Rose Hill basically guarded Robertson with two players last Friday, but as has been her wont she was patient and didn’t try to force it. While she took only eight shots, she still found a way to score 13 points.
You can sense some frustration for Robertson, despite her incredible poise. It can’t be fun to play the game when you are constantly shadowed by two players.
Robertson is well on her way to becoming the all-time leading scorer in MHS history, boys or girls. She is an adept ballhandler and passer, and even is an excellent rebounder because she knows how to play the game. She knows angles and sees where the ball is going when it hits off the rim.
Meanwhile on Friday, brothers Drew and Ben Pyle dropped about all jaws in the stands with a stunning display of long-range marksmanship.
Rose Hill simply could do nothing to stop them as if the Rockets got up in their faces, they would simply move back farther. Senior Drew was 8 of 9 in the first half, 5 of 6 from 3-point. He scored 21 points in the half.
Sophomore brother Ben, who couldn’t make a shot in warmups, dialed it up for 6 of 7, 4 of 5 from 3-point for 18 points.
Not only were they knocking down 3s like they were layups, these were from a different area code. Some of them should have counted for 4, because they were close to 30 feet. The basket looked like the Pacific Ocean to both of them as everything they threw up went in.
Like Robertson, the Pyle brothers have worked hard to hone their craft. Drew now needs only 16 points to reach the 1,000-point mark in his career. He’s one of the purest shooters during my time covering the Bullpups in the last 37 years, right up there with Tim Kliewer and Dylan Fiedler, who while not first-team All-State players could flat-out shoot the rock.
And I have a feeling Ben is a sure-fire cinch to hit that milestone before he’s through. At 6-6 and still growing, he has a chance to be an unstoppable force over his final two years because of his ability to score both inside and outside. How scary is he going to be with another 25 or 30 pounds as his body matures?
McPherson fans are seeing something special from these players. Take time to enjoy it.