The finish line is in sight for McPherson High’s basketball teams as they enter a huge final week of the regular season.
The Bullpups begin on Tuesday with their final home appearance as Augusta comes to town for Senior Night. The girls begin at 6 p.m., and the boys follow. Listen to both games on 96.7 KBBE-FM beginning at 5:45 p.m., with Chris Swick on the call.
Seniors for the boys are Jacob Loecker, Marcus McDaniel, Drew Pyle and Spenser Wine. Ashtyn Schieferecke, Paige Schmidt and Ally Ulsaker will take their final bows for the girls.
The onus is on the boys’ game as the Bullpups need to win to most likely remain a game up on Buhler for the AVCTL title. MHS and Buhler, of course, meet on the final night of the regular season on the Crusaders’ home court.
Augusta is right behind MHS and Buhler in the league standings and has the type of team that can somewhat flummox the Bullpups.
“Augusta is a team that has struggled lately with some player defections and so forth,” said MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon, whose team is 8-0 in league play and 17-1 overall. “I still think they are one of the better teams that we have played. Logan Weakley is a superior athlete and Jonny Clausing is a legit 6-7, so they have some weapons. They played with us for three quarters (last time) so we know they are capable. Friday at Buhler will be one of the most highly anticipated games of the year from both sides. There are a number of implications for sub-state and so forth.”
The Bullpups will be down a player the rest of the way as Kinnamon announced that 6-6 sophomore backup center Sam Brossard has been lost with a back injury that also could keep him for most of the baseball season.
The MHS girls already have clinched a share of the league title and can win it outright on Tuesday. In the first game with Augusta, the Bullpups probably struggled more than in any game this year before emerging with the victory.
“Augusta continues to play a lot of young kids and they just keep getting better,” MHS coach Chris Strathman said. “They are an aggressive bunch that does a great job of getting to the foul line, so we have to play solid defense without fouling. We know we need to prepare for anything these days from the opponent's defensive approach. We have seen just about everything that can be done, now it's just a matter of getting more aggressive in making good basketball plays. That is very important for us going forward for the rest of the season.”
MHS is 8-0 in league play and 16-2 overall as it already has clinched the top seed for next week’s sub-state.