MHS boys fend off Buhler rush

By Steve Sell
January 03, 2017

BUHLER — For 28 minutes on Tuesday against arch-rival Buhler, the Bullpup boys played "the McPherson way."

MHS piled up a 51-37 lead and seemingly was on its way to a comfortable victory as defensively it was suffocating a high-potent Buhler offense.

But in the last 4 minutes, the Bullpups lost their way—but fortunately not the game

MHS hung on for desperately needed 68-65 victory as Buhler amazingly scored 19 points in the final 2:07 of the game, thanks to sharpshooting Tanner Lackey, who had 18 in the final quarter. After scoring just 34 points through three quarters, Buhler dissected the Bullpups for 31 in the final 8 minutes.

Nevertheless, the Bullpups improved to 4-3 and handed Buhler its second loss against four wins. 

"For the first 28 minutes we were really, really good," a mixed-emotion MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. "We were pretty good defensively and I told the coaches at halftime… if nothing else we've seen improvement which is what you want. Then the last 4 minutes we reverted back (to December form). We don't share it, we don't pitch it, we don't identify who we're guarding, we give up straight-line drives… we gave them any number of opportunities and they shoot it so well they're never out of a game."

But Kinnamon also like the grit of his team in a hostile environment. Little separated the teams for much of the first half until MHS had a spurt to take a 30-23 lead at the break.

After Buhler crept within four, 32-28, MHS dominated the rest of the third quarter to lead 48-34 as the Bullpups finally quit taking some ill-advised 3-pointers and got the ball inside.

It was 51-37 with 5:44 to go when Lackey started to go to work. He had a stretch of 12 points in 57 seconds as the Bullpups saw their lead melt. They also missed 9 free throws in the fourth quarter after not missing a single attempt through three quarters.

The Bullpups rode Ben Pyle's 29 points, 20 of those in the second half. Jake Alexander scored 12 and Mason Alexander added 10. Dylan Brown augmented Lackey with 12 points and was matched by 6-7 Grant Owens, who didn't play that much in the second half much to MHS' thankfulness.

In the JV boys game, Jace Kinnamon scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half to spark the Bullpups to an easy 57-25 victory.

The MHS ninth-graders lost 55-45 despite 15 points by Kaleb Hoppes and 13 by Kvon Richardson.

MHS is home on Friday to take on Circle.

MHS (68) — Labertew 2-4, 0-1, 4; M. Alexander 4-7, 1-2, 10; Jk. Alexander 3-8, 6-7, 12; Diggs 1-5, 3-4, 5; Kinnamon 1-2, 0-0, 3; B. Pyle 11-18, 6-10, 29; Jays. Alexancer 2-3, 1-2, 5. Totals — 24-47, 18-26, 68. 3-pointers — M. Alexander 1, B. Pyle 1, Kinnamon 1.

Buhler (65) — White 0-1, 0-0, 0; Smart 2-5, 0-0, 5; Wiehl 1-1, 0-0, 3; Lackey 7-15, 7-9, 26; Smyres 2-3, 1-2, 5; D. Brown 5-10, 2-3, 12; E. Brown 1-3, 0-0, 2; Owens 4-9, 4-5, 12. Totals — 22-47, 14-19, 65. 3-pointers — Lackey 5, Smart 1, Wiehl 1.

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MHS JV (57) — Stufflebean 8, Hoover 9, Kinnamon 17, Ky. Hoppes 6, Wilson 8, Trost 2, Ka. Hoppes 1, Richardson 2, Courtney 4.

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MHS 9th (45) — Kal. Hoppes 15, Richardson 13, Schmid 3, Lopez 2, Koehn 7, Stockham 4, Courtney 1.


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