Big second half keys Derby boys' win

By Steve Sell
December 06, 2016

DERBY — It wasn’t the momentum game McPherson High’s boys had envisioned going into Friday’s titanic showdown with defending state champion Bishop Miege.

The Bullpups went on the road for the first time Tuesday night and while they went into halftime nursing a tenuous 29-28 lead, Derby punched MHS in the gut at the start of the second half and the Bullpups staggered before finally falling 63-46 — only their fourth loss in the last 76 games.

MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon offered no excuses, as the Panthers’ havoc defense and quickness advantage was evident, not to mention quicksilver point guard Nyjee Wright controlled the tempo and didn’t allow MHS to turn him over as he directed his team expertly, not to mention he hit three 3-pointers early in the second half and went on to score 20 points.

“I don’t know how many turnovers we had, but it was certainly the difference in the game,” said Kinnamon, whose team is now 1-1 with an unenviable task coming up at home on Friday against defending state champion Miege and its myriad of Division I recruits. “When you get down to them, Nyjee is awful hard to chase around... he’s certainly quick and they did a good job of exploiting us... we just didn’t handle it very well.”

Drew Labertew’s basket in the closing moments of the first half put MHS up 29-28, but Derby answered the bell coming out of the break with a 10-2 run and at one point in the third quarter outscored MHS 20-6 as the Bullpups turned it over as much as they shot it.

MHS never made any dent into the lead in the fourth quarter as Derby sliced and diced the Bullpup defense.

“We’ve got to be able to handle pressure,” Kinnamon said. “Part of it was we were too tentative to pass because so many of our passes got intercepted it seemed like. You’re afraid of their quickness and ground they can cover.”

Ben Pyle at times was triple-teamed but still scored 24 points to lead MHS. Smooth-shooting Trevor Gordon actually led the Panthers with 21 points, 14 of those in the second half.

For one of the few times in recent memory, MHS was swept. The JVs lost 67-43 as no Bullpup hit for double figures as Brandon Wilson was tops with 9. The freshmen lost 58-53 despite 15 points by Kaleb Hoppes and 14 by Hayes Schmid. Riley Koehn supplied 11.

MHS (46) — Labertew 3-4, 1-2, 8; Jk. Alexander 1-7, 5-6, 7; Ky. Hoppes 0-1, 0-0, 0; B. Pyle 6-17, 11-13, 24; Seidl 3-4, 0-0, 6; Jay. Alexander 0-3, 0-0, 0; Gerbrandt 0-0, 1-2, 1. Totals — 13-36, 18-23 46. 3-pointers — Labertew 1, B. Pyle 1.

Derby (63) — Dowdy 2-3, 0-0, 5; Wright 6-11, 4-4, 20; Tabor 4-5, 0-0, 8; Adler 1-2, 0-0, 2; Gordon 8-17, 2-3, 21; Bell 0-1, 1-4, 1; Brown 1-1, 0-0, 2; Clavin 2-4, 0-0, 4. Totals — 24-45, 7-11, 63. 3-pointers — Wright 4, Gordon 3, Dowdy 1.


MHS JV (43) — Stufflebean 2, Wiard 2, Myers 6, Kinnamon 7, Ky. Hoppes 7, Avila 2, Wilson 9, Trost 8.


MHS 9th (53) — Kb. Hoppes 15, Schmid 14, Courtney 8, S. Pyle 1, Lopez 4, Koehn 11.