Since McPherson High’s basketball teams were reclassified from AVCTL Division II to Division III — they actually were Division I when the super league was first formed — to say that D-III has been their own personal playground is a massive understatement.
Should the MHS teams sweep Augusta in the home and regular-season finale on Friday, that would make them a combined 99-1 in five years against D-III — the only loss by the girls against the Jessica Steffen-led Buhler Crusaders two years ago.
It’s Senior Night for the girls as Jordan Bruner and Emma Yowell will be honored, but the MHS boys will return intact as they do not have a single senior.
For those who can’t get out to the Roundhouse, catch all the action on 96.7 KBBE-FM with Voice of the Bullpups Matt Cole calling the action starting at 5:55.
The MHS girls are 16-3 on the season, the losses all to ranked teams (Miege, Olathe South and Newton).
MHS coach Chris Strathman, whose team handled the Orioles comfortably the first time around, says Augusta has played lights-out in the last month.
“The Augusta girls have won 8 of their last 9, with their only loss coming to a very good Circle team, so they have been playing much better since midseason,” Strathman said. “They have a first-team All-League-caliber player in Jayden Marlnee. She is a tough matchup as she can post up and finish inside, but also has strong face-up and attack skills.”
Bruner and Yowell will be finishing up their Roundhouse careers and both have been staples in the Bullpups’ success.
“We are looking forward to Senior Night, as we honor Jordan and Emma,” Strathman said. “Hopefully we can play well and keep things going as we head into postseason.”
MHS has clinched the top spot for the Buhler sub-state and figures to play the host Crusaders in the first round, a team they have walloped twice.
For the Bullpup boys, Augusta is a team that always concerns MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon as the Orioles have some nice pieces. The Bullpups are 15-4 and take a nine-game winning streak into the game.
“Augusta has changed since the first time we played and is playing well,” Kinnamon said.
His big concern is 6-8 junior center Jonny Clausing, who can clog up the middle and is a tough defensive matchup. Chance Whitehead is another excellent player that MHS has to be aware of from the 3-point line.
MHS is attempting to compile its fifth straight 10-0 tour of Division III.
“It is an amazing feat to have a record of 99-1 in 5 years,” Kinnamon said of the MHS teams, tipping his cap to the girls for their feat.
MHS has secured the No. 1 sub-state seed for next week in Buhler. That means Hays and Buhler, both ranked teams, have to play in the first round, while MHS gets Ulysses.