After being home nearly all of January, McPherson High’s basketball teams have gone half the month of February without gracing the hallowed Roundhouse floor.
That drought ends on Tuesday when the Bullpups begin a week-long homestand as Winfield comes to town, with Buhler here on Friday for Homecoming as well as “Think Pink” Night.
The MHS boys have not been home since defeating Newton on Jan. 24 and the girls last played here in the Mid America Classic on Jan. 28.
For those who can’t make it, join 96.7 KBBE-FM for all the action with Voice of the Bullpups Matt Cole on the call beginning at 5:55. Game time for the girls is 6 p.m., with the boys to follow.
For the McPherson High boys, every game is now essential. Since Hays lost on back-to-back nights to Salina Central and Liberal last week, the Bullpups have now moved into the No. 1 sub-state spot, with Hays and Buhler both a game behind. MHS takes a 12-4 record into Tuesday’s game, while Hays and Buhler are 11-5.
MHS had no trouble with Winfield in the first meeting, but MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon is not taking anything for granted.
“Winfield is a team that is trying to do the right things,” Kinnamon said. “Coach (Connor) Bechard is doing a number of things that allows them to be in the game. They are very patient offensively and are not going to shoot until they are ready. We will have to try and speed them up. It is a big week. The game on Friday has so many external factors involved and we are going to have to control those things that we can. Buhler is playing as well as anyone in the league right now. It should be a great atmosphere and game on Friday.”
The MHS girls are 13-3 overall and also had an easy time of it the first time around with the Vikings, but Bullpup coach Chris Strathman wants his team to be competing at a high level.
“We shot the ball so well at Winfield before Christmas, so that night was kind of a perfect storm,” he said. “We anticipate a much-improved Winfield team. They like to change defenses a lot to keep you off balance, so we will have to be ready for that. We are also missing several girls from practice today as we have some of the flu bug, so who knows what will happen Tuesday night as far as personnel for us.”