Blistering start for MHS girls keys huge win

By Steve Sell
February 23, 2016

McPherson High's girls literally couldn't miss in the first half on Senior Night against Augusta here Tuesday.

The Bullpups were a stunning 19 of 25 from the field, including an outrageous 7 of 7 from beyond the arc to lead 52-27 and they parlayed that half into a 71-45 victory.

"Nineteen of 25 and only four turnovers. That was pretty efficient," MHS coach Chris Strathman said. "One of the things we wanted to do was a little bit of a risk-reward. We wanted to try out our halfcourt zone trap a little bit and speed things up to increase the number of possessions. We wanted to have something so we can score off our defense."

The Bullpups wrapped up yet another AVCTL Division III championship as they are now 9-0 in league play and 17-2 overall heading into Friday's rivalry game at Buhler. MHS has won nine straight league titles and 19 of the last 22.

Taylor Robertson and Mandi Cooks got MHS off to the great start with 15 and 13 first-half points, respectively. They combined to make all 11 of their shots, Cooks 6 of 6 and Robertson 5 of 5, including 4 of 4 from 3-point. Strathman said it was good to see Cooks moving so free and easy as she's starting to round back into form from her whiplash injury.

Predictably, the Bullpups couldn't continue the offensive efficiency, but they still finished 28 of 47 for 60 percent. Robertson scored 19 points and Cooks added 15.

Seniors Paige Schmidt (nine points, three assists), Ashtyn Schieferecke (six points) and Ally Ulsaker (eight points) all closed their Roundhouse careers in style.

"Those three I thought played very well," Strathman said. "Paige scored a little more than usual hitting those three 3s and we ran a couple of sets for her tonight and she drained them. Ally finished some good shots and Ashtyn did her normal work."

The JV girls struggled, but remained undefeated with a 36-27 victory. Riley Hett topped the scoring with 12 points.

The freshmen girls raced to a 53-16 rout as the game took just under an hour to play. Jaycee Burghart and Claire Yowell paced the Bullpups with 10 points apiece.

McPherson (71) — Yowell 2-3, 2-2, 7; Schmidt 3-7, 0-0, 9; Schieferecke 3-5, 0-0, 6;  Robertson 7-11, 1-1, 19; Ulsaker 3-6, 2-2, 8; Collins 3-4, 1-2, 7; Hett 0-1, 0-0, 0; Bruner 0-1, 0-0, 0; Cooks 7-8, 1-2, 15; E. Ellet 0-1, 0-0, 0.

Augusta (45) — Hinnenkamp 2-4, 2-2, 8; Zerr 1-3, 0-0, 2; Marlnee 5-10, 2-3, 12; Dalziel 2-2, 3-4, 7; McDaniel 0-3, 0-0, 0; Wheeler 2-6, 0-3, 5; Livingston 3-4, 1-1, 7; Rhodes 2-3, 0-0, 4. Totals — 17-35, 8-13, 45. 3-pointers — Hinnenkamp 2, Wheeler 1.

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MHS JV (36) — Collins 4, Hageman 6, Schrader 6, Hett 12, Bruner 2, Heidebrecht 2, E. Ellet 4.

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MHS 9th (53) — Burghart 10, Beam 9, Hein 4, Jones 2, Yowell 10, K. Ellet 6, Leaf 4, Eisenbarth 8.


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