Classic update: MHS storms into semifinals

By Steve Sell
January 26, 2017
Kendall Shaw

It was good for McPherson High's girls that coach Chris Strathman was wrong.

Strathman said he didn’t expect the Bullpups’ second meeting with Andale on Thursday to be nearly as lopsided as the first when they were a 70-27 winner.

The first-round game of the Mid America Classic did start out more competitive as the Bullpups were up just 10-7 early, but they went on a 28-2 tear to key a convincing 66-18 victory.

"We did push the ball well and I thought our effort was pretty good. It was a sustained effort, too," Strathman said. "Overall I thought the effort was there. We talked to the kids before the game and we knew if the effort was there, then naturally you'll get some transition buckets. The offense will play a little better with intensity and effort."

MHS, now 10-2, moves on to play Olathe South at 7:30 p.m. Friday in what should be one of the best semifinal games in recent memory. South is 7-1 and never has lost in its 13 Classic games.

MHS held the Indians to 4 of 24 from the field in the first half and forced 13 turnovers to take command. Strathman used his bench liberally as all 12 players were in the game before the half was over.

"All the girls that stepped on the floor played their roles and did their jobs they needed to do," Strathman said.

The Bullpups' third quarter was highlighted by an 11-0 run even with Strathman employing a number of different combinations as he limited the starters' minutes.

While Taylor Robertson and Mandi Cooks were their usual double-figure selves with 18 and 10 points respectively, Claire Yowell came off the bench to score a varsity career high of 13.

"She (Yowell) has been making a lot of shots in JV and that is something she can definitely provide to help space the floor," Strathman said.

The Bullpups forced 27 turnovers on the defensive end and came up with 20 steals.

MHS now has a huge test on Friday as it never has beaten Olathe South, nor has any other team in tourney history.

"They're a very, very good team and we've seen that. This is their fifth trip here and they have yet to lose on our floor," Strathman said. "So we've got a ton of respect for Olathe South and they're well coached. I know they have a new coach this year, but he's been with them for a long time. We expect a lot of the same out of them. Good guard play and great post play."

MHS (66) — E. Yowell 2-7, 0-0, 5; Hett 2-3, 3-4, 8; Robertson 6-11, 3-4, 18; Bruner 0-2, 0-0, 0; M. Cooks 4-4, 2-4, 10; C. Yowell 4-7, 2-2, 13; Burghart 1-3, 0-0, 3; Hageman 0-0, 0-0, 0; Schieferecke 0-0, 2-2, 2; Sweat  1-4, 1-1, 3; Ellet 0-0, 0-0, 0; Eisenbarth 2-2, 0-0, 4. Totals — 22-43, 13-17, 66. 3-pointers — Robertson 3, C. Yowell 3, E. Yowell 1, Hett 1, Burghart 1.

Andale (18) — Geis 0-2, 0-0, 0; R. Bergkamp 0-3, 0-0, 0; Winters 0-2, 0-0, 0; Easter 1-3, 1-2, 4; J. Bergkamp 4-7, 0-0, 8; Blasi 0-1, 0-0, 0; Gutschenritter 0-3, 0-0, 0; Eck 0-2, 0-0, 0; Chavez 0-4, 0-0, 0; Anderson 0-2, 0-0, 0; Knoblauch 2-8, 0-0, 4; Bruce 1-4, 0-0, 2.  Totals — 8-41, 1-2, 18. 3-pointers — Easter 1.