What a milestone for JV girls basketball team

By Steve Sell
December 14, 2016

Wednesday’s ramblings...

• 50 STRAIGHT FOR JV GIRLS — Sometimes we are so fixated on what happens at the varsity level that we overlook what happens at the levels below.

On Tuesday, a milestone was reached when McPherson High’s junior varsity girls basketball team defeated Abilene 64-45 for its 50th straight victory.

Coach Mike Reith has done a wonderful job down through the years with the junior varsity as he readies the girls for the varsity level.

Just think about that, 50 wins in a row. That’s a lot of games to play without having what is considered an “off night.” And with the junior varsity, you never know who is going to be available because sometimes a varsity player might be ill or injured and a player or two may have to be moved up and not play their customary JV minutes.

The MHS girls coaching staff of head coach Chris Strathman and assistants Reith, Shelly Prescott and Tim Ellet does a great job. Very seldom, if ever, do the Bullpups go into games being anything but totally prepared.

This is quite an achievement for the MHS girls junior varsity and hopefully the streak will continue for a long time.

• BIG WRESTLING DUAL HERE THURSDAY — The last McPherson High home sports event of 2016 takes place on Thursday when the Bullpups host Buhler in a wrestling dual.

McPherson vs. Buhler. Does anything more need to be said?

The action fires up at 6 p.m. in the MHS Auxiliary Gym and the noise should be deafening. It doesn’t matter the sport, emotions always run high when the Bullpups and Crusaders are matched up.

Bullpup coach Doug Kretzer likes the direction his team is heading. The Bullpups survived a grueling week with a sweep of the Smoky Valley triangular last Thursday, then they went 5-2 in the Colby Tournament that included some wins against bigger schools, including Hutchinson and Topeka Seaman.

Let’s pack the Auxiliary Gym on Thursday and make it loud.

• TOUGH STRETCH FOR MAC — After such a terrific start to the season for McPherson College's basketball teams, the fortunes have gone South.

The Mac women got off to a 3-1 start in the KCAC and 7-2 start overall, but they now have lost four in a row.

While they're 3-5 in the KCAC, three of the losses are to the Top 3 teams — Friends, Tabor and Kansas Wesleyan. In the games with nationally ranked Tabor and Friends, the Bulldogs were ahead in the fourth quarter.

Coach Gordon Reimer has no seniors and only two juniors who play in his regular rotation, while the rest are sophomores and freshmen. The games with Tabor and Friends show the team has some talent, it just needs to finish games.

The Mac men were 6-2 after eight games, but have skidded to six straight losses. Like the women, the Bulldogs are having trouble finishing games, including letting an 18-point lead get away against Friends here last Saturday.

Mac is 1-7 in the KCAC, yet its talent level seems to be on par with the other teams for the most part. I still think this team has the capability to get it turned around, but it has to start on the defensive end. The Bulldogs struggle to get stops when they need them.