It’s going to be a special night Friday at the venerable McPherson High Roundhouse.
Hutchinson, once MHS’ most spirited rival, comes to town for the annual “Think Pink Night” as well as homecoming.
All Bullpup fans are asked to put aside their usual red and white attire and don anything resembling pink. The MHS girls have conducted fundraisers and will make their annual contribution to cancer research during a special ceremony.
The action begins at 6 p.m. with the girls. Join Chris Swick on the call on 96.7 KBBE-FM beginning at 5:45.
The MHS girls take a 15-2 record into their game, while Hutchinson is 7-10. However, the Salthawks put a scare into ranked 6A and twice-beaten Derby on Tuesday, losing 44-37 after being up 27-21 at the half.
“Hutchinson gave Derby all they can handle and Derby is very good this year,” MHS coach Chris Strathman said. “Hutch can be pretty deliberate with their offensive sets and they run them very well, and coach (Casey) Stiggins always does a great job with their team defensive approach. I am sure they may have something special for us, just like they probably had something special to try to slow down Derby's 6-5 freshman post player.”
Box-and-one defenses on MHS’ sophomore sharpshooter Taylor Robertson have been the norm the past few games, though El Dorado failed to stop her on Tuesday as she poured in 24 points. A big key for MHS is the health of Mandi Cooks, who looked more like her old self with a nice game against El Dorado after several games of struggling after injuring herself against Andale.
Strathman knows it’s getting near the end and he wants his team to peak at the right time.
“We are really looking forward to preparing for this game and also for ‘Think Pink Night,’” Strathman said. “Hopefully we can play well and get some momentum rolling as we head into the final stretches of the season. This will be a very good test for us on Friday.”
As for the boys’ game, it screams of mismatch. But MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said that couldn’t be further from the truth as despite a 1-16 record the Salthawks nearly upset Derby on Tuesday as the Panthers roared back from a 21-point deficit to pull out the victory.
“Hutch is the scariest one-win team in the state,” Kinnamon said. “They recently have had Derby down by 21, Salina South by eight. They play very hard and are quick. They do not have a lot of team size, so they are very patient and move the ball well waiting for the opponent to make a defensive mistake. As I watched film on them, this is not a team that is playing with the idea of just getting the season over, but they recognize the improvement they have made and seem to really enjoy playing for coach (Chad) Wintz.”
Hutch no doubt is salivating for a chance to knock MHS out of its No. 1 ranking in Class 4A Division I and will leave it all on the court. The Bullpups are 16-1 on the season, the only loss in the last second to defending Missouri big-class defending state champion Blue Springs South.