No. 1 Newton girls edge MHS by 2 late

By Steve Sell
January 17, 2017
Kendall Shaw

The degree of difficulty was certainly a 10.

But Newton's super-athletic sophomore DesiRay Kernal made a shot, if given 10 attempts, might make just once.

And once was enough.

Kernal's off-balanced, off-hand shot in the lane with 4.8 seconds left here Tuesday enabled No. 1 Class 5A Newton to escape with a 39-37 victory over once-beaten and No. 3-ranked Class 4A Division I McPherson before an appreciative crowd at the Roundhouse that saw a tremendous game.

Kernal's basket came despite the Bullpups' Hannah Hageman playing in-your-face defense, forcing her to go to the off hand. It completed a 16-point, 12-rebound performance for Kernal, who played well beyond her years.

"She sure makes a lot of things happen. She's the player who makes them go obviously," MHS coach Chris Strathman said. "Hannah guarded her the right way. You want to give her a step and almost dare her to shoot a 3. You want to play her right hand, which normally you don't want to give up the middle, but on her you don't want her to go right. Hannah did exactly what we wanted, Kernal just made a heck of a play."

The loss snapped an MHS seven-game winning streak and dropped the Bullpups to 9-2 and perhaps down to No. 3 in the Mid America Classic order of merit.

"We just talked to the kids at length after the game, we were proud of their effort," Strathman said. "It was a very, very good team that came into our place tonight and beat us. They're unbeaten and No. 1 in 5A for a reason. We were that close to knocking them off."

The Bullpups played from behind most of the night, down 13-7 after a quarter, 21-17 at the half (a deficit made lesser by a Taylor Robertson 3-pointer with 1 second left) and 29-23 at the end of three quarters.

But with a Hageman 3-pointer sparking an MHS run, the Bullpups finally got it tied at 30-all and later went up 35-32 with Emma Yowell draining a 3 and Hageman making a pair of free throws.

Newton, though, went on a 7-0 rip to lead 37-35 before Robertson scored with 1:46 left to tie the game. After a missed MHS free throw with 1:17 left, the Railers milked the clock and finally went to Kernal, who simply made an athletic play.

Robertson matched Kernal's 16 points and went over the 1,000-point mark for her career as she now has 1,009. 

Two key stats of the game were second-chance points (14-2 in favor of Newton) and rebounding (Newton had a decided 31-22 advantage).

The MHS JV girls made it 57 wins in a row with a 55-31 success. The scoring was balanced as only Andrea Sweat was in double figures with 13 points.

In the C-game, the Bullpups exploded for 35 first-half points to spark a 57-34 victory. Katelyn Beam’s 18 points led the way, which included four 3-pointers. Cassie Cooks took care of the inside work with 16, 10 in the first half.

MHS (37) — E. Yowell 2-3, 0-0, 5; Hett 0-4, 0-1, 0; Robertson 5-11, 4-5, 16; Bruner 1-3, 0-0, 2; M. Cooks 2-7, 2-3, 6; C. Yowell 0-1, 0-0, 0; Hageman 1-3, 2-3, 5; Schieferecke 1-3, 0-0, 2; Leaf 0-0, 1-2, 1. Totals — 12-35, 9-14, 37. 3-pointers — 12-37, 9-14, 37. 3-pointers — Robertson 2, E. Yowell 1, Hageman 1.

Newton (39) — Antonowich 0-4, 2-4, 2; Bacon 2-8, 0-0, 4; Kernal 5-15, 6-8, 16; Berry 3-7, 2-2, 9; Schmidt 2-3, 0-0, 4; Simmons 1-3, 0-0, 2; Brewer 1-1, 0-0, 2. Totals — 14-40, 10-14, 39. 3-pointers — Berry 1.


MHS JV (55) — C. Yowell 7, Burghart 2, Hageman 2, Schieferecke 2, Hein 7, Sweat 13, C. Cooks 4, Ellet 6, Leaf 6, Eisenbarth 6.


MHS C (57) — Mayfield 4, Beam 18, Stout 2, Strathman 7, Collins 8, C. Cooks 16, Hein 2.