Blistering start propels MHS girls to victory

By Steve Sell
January 06, 2017

It might have been a case of Roundhouse stage fright for the Circle girls on Friday.

Fashioning a perfect record, the T-Birds came into the AVCTL Division III showdown with McPherson High brimming with confidence.

But that confidence was shattered right out of the chute. After Circle star Carissa Beck scored the first basket of the game, the Bullpups reeled off 20 of the next 21 points to take command, leading 20-3 after the quarter.

The shellshock eventually wore off for the T-Birds as they outscored MHS over the final three quarters, but the Bullpups improved to 7-1 on the year with their fifth straight victory, 58-45. 

"We obviously had a great start in the first quarter," MHS coach Chris Strathman said. "But after that they outscored us 42-38. But Circle does have some good weapons. They can put the ball on the floor and attack you. They have a couple of girls who can shoot it and we knew they'd make a couple of runs at us and they did that."

Most disconcerting to Strathman was that his team handled the ball well in the first half with just 5 turnovers, but committed 12 in the second half, which is something the T-Birds can put into their memory bank for when the teams meet next month.

Taylor Robertson showed no effects from having her cast taken off for her broken finger as she scored 17 points in the first half and went on to finish with 30, while Mandi Cooks, on the heels of her monster 21-point game on Tuesday against Buhler, added 11 in the first half and finished with 15 to go along with 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Robertson and Cooks also were a combined 14 of 16 at the line as MHS finished the game 17 of 20.

Strathman wasn't sure what to expect from Robertson, since she had only one day of practice.

"I was very proud of her," Strathman said. "She didn't practice for 2 weeks and was cleared Thursday morning and practiced one time. I had told her from the very get-go it was going to be extremely important whenever she got cleared that her legs were ready. So she's been busting her tail working on the bike and the elliptical machine, really putting in a lot of time."

Guards Beck and Kali Martin made up a nice combination for Circle with 15 and 14 points, respectively.

In the JV game, MHS received scoring from 10 players in a 68-36 rout. Andrea Sweat's 14 points led the Bullpups and Clair Yowell chipped in with 12.

In the C-game, the Bullpups ran roughshod over the T-Birds, 48-13. Sweat made the most of her time with 14 points.

MHS took over the league lead with a 4-0 D-III record and goes to Augusta on Tuesday to complete the first half of the league portion of the schedule.

MHS (58) — E. Yowell 1-6, 0-0, 3; Hett 1-5, 3-4, 6; Robertson 9-14, 8-10, 30; Bruner 1-3, 0-0, 2; M. Cooks 4-11, 6-7, 15; C. Yowell 0-2, 0-0, 0; Burghart 0-0, 0-0, 0; Schieferecke 1-4, 0-0, 2; Ellet 0-0, 0-0, 0; Leaf 0-0, 0-0, 0. Totals — 17-45, 17-20, 58. 3-pointers — Robertson 4, E. Yowell 1, Hett 1, M. Cooks 1.

Circle (45) — Jeffries 0-4, 2-2, 2; Perry 2-6, 1-4, 5; Beck 6-13, 0-0, 15; Martin 4-12, 5-7, 14; Galloway 1-2, 2-4, 4; Keller 0-4, 0-0, 0; Kelly 2-5, 1-1, 5; Garrison 0-0, 0-0, 0. Totals — 15-46, 11-18, 45. 3-pointers — Beck 3, Martin 1.


MHS JV (68) — C. Yowell 12, Burghart 9, Schieferecke 8, Hein 7, Stout 2, Sweat 14, C. Cooks 6, Ellet 2, Leaf 3, Eisenbarth 5.


MHS C (48) — Mayfield 2, Beam 9, Schieferecke 3, Strathman 5, Stout 2, Sweat 14, C. Cooks 8, Collins 5.