DERBY — McPherson’s seventh-grade girls basketball team entered the first round of the Pioneer League Tournament as a lower seed Saturday, but the No. 5 Bullpups toppled No. 4 Salina South 28-23 to advance to the semifinals.
The Bullpups were down 23-18 going into the fourth quarter, but suffocated South with relentless defense as they didn’t give up a point over the final 6 minutes.
“We had a quick start today against South, but then couldn't do much offensively during the second and third quarters,” MMS coach Jacque Gehrt said. “Finally in the fourth quarter all of the girls stepped up their defensive pressure, which led to a few easy baskets and we were able to inch ahead of South. We were only 4 of 15 from the free throw line, so that is an area in which we will need to make improvements by Tuesday. We are looking forward to avenging another one of our losses when we play No. 1 seed Hutchinson on Tuesday in the semifinals. If we play like we did in the fourth quarter, we will definitely be a tough team to beat.”
Ella Schmid led the Bullpups with 11 points. Lauren Labertew added 8.
The strength of the tournament is evident by the fact MMS is the No. 5 seed even though it’s now 11-3 on the year.
MMS (28) — Schmid 11, Labertew 8, Pelzel 3, Howard 2, Whorton 2, Herrera 2.