MHS girls swamp Buhler

By Steve Sell
March 03, 2017
Kendall Shaw

BUHLER —  The big question going into Friday’s McPherson High girls’ sub-state basketball opener against Buhler, which had already lost twice by big margins to the Bullpups, was what new strategy the Crusaders would try next.

As it turned out, Buhler came out and played straight up. And the difference in skill level was painfully apparent for the young-and-inexperienced Crusaders.

MHS jumped out to a 17-2 lead and it only got uglier after that as the Bullpups rolled to a 65-17 victory to advance to Saturday’s 6 p.m. championship game against Hays, which took care of Ulysses 51-38 in the opening game.

“Our effort and focus were outstanding tonight,” said MHS coach Chris Strathman, whose team is now 18-3 after an eighth straight victory. “The first half was really, really good.”

Junior Bullpup center Mandi Cooks seems to enjoy Jim Baker Field House as she poured in 24 points after scoring 21 here the first time. She was 10 of 16 from the field and took the game right to the Crusader defense.

“Right from the tip I thought her effort and focus was as good as it’s been all year,” Strathman said. “I thought she kind of sent a little message to the freshman post who was guarding her and she was just very aggressive right from the get-go. She got some deep post-ups, got some follow-ups off rebounds and I was just really pleased with how Mandi played tonight.”

Taylor Robertson scored all 16 of her points during a 43-10 first half and took only two more shots after that. MHS was 26 of 50 from the field.

The only negative on the night was starting defensive mainstay Jordan Bruner spraining her ankle in the first half. While she didn’t return, Strathman believes she might be ready to go against Hays, which will try to slow down the Bullpup juggernaut.

“They have a couple of good shooters that we’ll have to be aware of,” Strathman said. “Other than that, if we can get the ball inside I like our chances. I thought Buhler might play some junk (defense), but they played pretty much straight-up man. I expect Hays to throw some different things at us and try and mix it up a little bit.”

MHS (65) — E. Yowell 3-6, 0-0, 8; C. Yowell 1-3, 1-2, 3; Burghart 0-1, 1-2, 1; Hageman 0-3, 0-0, 0; Schieferecke 1-1, 0-0, 3; Hett 1-1, 1-2, 4; Sweat 0-4, 0-1, 0; Robertson 7-11, 0-0, 16; M. Cooks 10-16, 4-4, 24; C. Cooks 2-3, 0-0, 4; Ellet 1-1, 0-0, 2. Totals — 26-50, 7-11, 65. 3-pointers — E. Yowell 2, Robertson 2, Schieferecke 1, Hett 1.

Buhler (17) — Cunday 0-6, 2-4, 2; Miller 1-3, 0-0, 2; Marchoine 1-4, 0-0, 3; McLean 0-2, 0-0, 0; A. Schultz 0-1, 0-0, 0; White 1-3, 1-2, 4; Martins 0-2, 0-0, 0; Epp 1-3, 0-0, 2; Chisam 0-1, 0-0, 0; Stutterheim 0-1, 0-0, 0; Owens 2-3, 0-2, 4. Totals — 6-29, 3-8, 17. 3-pointers — Marchoine 1, White 1.