MHS girls finish 18-2 by crushing Buhler

By Steve Sell
February 26, 2016

BUHLER — McPherson High girls coach Chris Strathman was almost certain the second meeting with Buhler on Friday would be much closer.

It was — but the margin was still a comfortable 23 points.

MHS, a 35-point winner at the Roundhouse last month, rode another night of mad bombing from 3-point range and a tremendous rotating defensive effort on Buhler All-Stater Jessica Steffen to a 48-25 victory.

MHS finished the regular season with an 18-2 record and will take the No. 1 seed into next week's sub-state at Ulysses, most likely playing the host team.

The Bullpups were uber-hyper at the outset, going nearly 5 minutes before scoring. But once they started making 3-pointers, they came at a fast-and-furious pace, going 8 of 15 in the first half to build up a 29-12 lead. It only grew in the second half, though the team went more inside after the break.

"We were too amped up (at the start) and we had three turnovers and a couple of bad misses," Strathman said. "Then we had the blood time out (for Mandi Cooks, who was hit in the nose). I said, 'this is perfect for you guys because you have a chance to take a nice, deep breath and relax for a minute.'"

From that point on, the Bullpups were in complete control as they completed another 10-0 run through league play for their ninth straight title and 19th in the last 22 years. 

Steffen, who is heading to Yale, was limited to a modest 10 points as Yowell, Kamryn Collins and Jordan Bruner all took turns defending her as Strathman kept fresh players on her as she played every minute until the last one when she took her final bow at Baker Field House to a rousing ovation, with Bullpups fans standing and clapping to show her respect.

Taylor Robertson led a balanced MHS offense with 10 points, while Yowell and Collins scored nine apiece and Cooks added eight.

The JV girls finished off a 16-0 season with a two-quarter, 21-11 victory as Buhler was short of players. Riley Hett's six points led the way.

The ninth-grade girls finished perfect as well — 19-0 — after a 39-19 victory. Katelyn Beam and Hannah Hageman led a balanced attack with eight points apiece.

Coaches Strathman, Mike Reith, Shelly Prescott and Tim Ellet thus led MHS to a stunning 53-2 record this season.

MHS (48)  — Yowell 3-6, 0-0, 9; Schmidt 3-5, 0-0, 6; Collins 3-4, 0-0, 9; Schieferecke 0-4, 0-0, 0; Schrader 1-6, 0-0, 3; Hett 0-2, 0-0, 0; Robertson 4-8, 0-0, 10; Bruner 1-2, 1-1, 3; Cooks 3-6, 2-3, 8; E. Ellet 0-1, 0-0, 0. Totals — 18-44, 3-4, 48. 3-pointers — Yowell 3, Collins 3, Robertson 2, Schrader 1.

Buhler (25) — Steffen 3-9, 2-4, 10; Reiss 0-2, 0-0, 0; Stutterheim 1-3, 0-0, 2; Schultz 1-5, 0-0, 2; Rohr 4-10, 0-0, 9; White 1-3, 0-0, 2. Totals — 10-32, 2-4, 25. 3-pointers — Steffen 2, Rohr 1.

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MHS JV (21) — Hein 3, Hageman 2, Hein 3, Hett 6, Howard 2, Yowell 3, E. Ellet 2.

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MHS 9th (39) — Burghart 3, Beam 8, Hein 5, Hageman 8, Yowell 6, Leaf 5, Eisenbarth 4.


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