McPherson High and Andale aren’t in the same division of the AVCTL, but they have developed a nice basketball rivalry nevertheless.
The schools have made it point to schedule each other the past few years because they want to see how they match up against a quality opponent.
This year’s meeting takes place on Friday at the Roundhouse. The girls tip off the twinbill at 6 p.m., with the boys to follow. Catch all the action on 96.7 KBBE-FM with Voice of the Bullpups Matt Cole on the call.
For the Bullpup boys it’s critical as they want to ride a wave of momentum into next week’s McPherson Invitational.
After a nondescript December that resulted in an uncharacteristic 3-3 record, the Bullpups have strung together three straight wins since the calendar turned. They are coming off perhaps their best effort of the season in a 68-38 rout of Augusta, a game punctuated by 12 3-pointers, this from a team that had shot 2 of 16 the previous game. Mason Alexander led the way by knocking down a half-dozen, part of his 27-point effort.
The Bullpups go in with the lesser record, 5-3, as Andale is off to a 7-1 start despite the fact it lost expected starting point guard Zach Meyer to a knee injury suffered during the football season.
“Big, strong and disciplined,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said of Andale. “They play a matchup zone and definitely play inside-out. They are well coached and play extremely hard. We’re expecting a tough game.”
Andale was all over Rose Hill on Tuesday with a 55-29 victory. It will be the top seed of next week’s Adolph Rupp Classic in Halstead.
Meanwhile the Bullpups are the No. 4 seed and have drawn always-tough Shawnee Mission East for next Thursday’s McPherson Invitational opening-round game.
The Andale girls enter Friday’s game with a 5-3 record, while the Bullpups are 8-1, having won six in a row. This is the first of two straight difficult test for MHS, which hosts No. 1-ranked Newton (Class 5A) on Tuesday in a girls-only game.
Andale dropped a 46-37 verdict to state-ranked Rose Hill on Tuesday. It has good balance, with sisters Rachel and Jill Bergkamp the top players.
“They are a well-coached bunch that will make things difficult for us,” MHS coach Chris Strathman said. “Coach (Ted) Anderson gets his kids to play hard and they will look to get the ball inside, so we have to stay out of foul trouble. We expect a variety of defenses to be thrown at us as they really like to disrupt the flow of the game.”
For Andale, surviving the first quarter will be the key. During their six-game winning streak, the Bullpups have been jumping on teams with their relentless defense and most have been decided by halftime. In Tuesday’s 62-41 win over Augusta, the Bullpups were up 40-16 at the half.
Taylor Robertson has shown no effects from having her cast off her broken finger, having scored 51 points in her two games since her return.