Bullpup boys strafe Buhler to advance to state

By Steve Sell
March 04, 2017
Kendall Shaw

• State Qualifiers •

Kansas City Piper, 20-2

Miege, 19-3

Abilene, 19-3

McPherson, 18-4

Labette County, 11-11

Louisburg, 10-12

Mulvane 9-13

Andover Central, 8-14

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BUHLER – McPherson High’s boys ignored the adage that it’s tough to beat a good team three times in a season, two of those on the road.

But that’s what the Bullpups did on Saturday night as they once again haunted Buhler 56-39 to advance to state, where they’re expected to be the No. 4 seed.

Ben Pyle scored the first 14 MHS points and finished with 31, while Jake Alexander furnished 17 as they carried the offense.

But the defense, that was a magnificent team effort.

The Bullpups harassed Buhler into a nightmarish 13 of 45 from the field and held sharpshooter Tanner Lackey to 6 points as he made only 1 of 8 shots.

“Very proud of them, especially on the defensive end. I thought we were really, really good (defensively),” said MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon, whose team is 18-4 and has won 12 straight. “We just never let Grant Owens get going and Tanner Lackey never really got going.”

MHS never trailed as Pyle was electric at the start, draining 4 straight 3-pointers in one stretch. It was 16-11 after a quarter and then the Bullpups held Buhler to 0 of 11 from the field in the second period as the Crusaders could manage only 4 free throws in the 8 minutes as the lead was 28-15 at the break.

The big Buhler run never came as for all the hand-wringing going into the game, the titanic struggle never developed due to the Bullpups’ lockdown defense.

MHS now goes to state for the fourth year in a in a row. The last three it has played for the championship, taking second last year to Miege after winning it the two previous years.

“Just really proud of the effort and our guys,” Kinnamon said. “We’re not done. Obviously we have some big tasks ahead of us.”

If the seedings hold up as expected, MHS would be opposite of Miege, the unquestioned favorite.

“It (making state almost every year) never gets old,” Kinnamon said. “Sometimes we take it for granted, but what an accomplishment for these kids.”

MHS (56) — Labertew 0-1, 0-0, 0; Hoover 0-1, 0-0, 0; M. Alexander 2-5, 2-2, 6; Jk. Alexander 6-10, 2-2, 17; Kinnamon 0-0, 0-2, 0; Pyle 11-17, 5-6, 31; Jay. Alexander 0-3, 0-1, 0; Diggs 1-3, 0-0, 2. Totals — 20-40, 9-13, 56. 3-pointers — Pyle 4, Jk. Alexander 3.

Buhler (39) — White 0-2, 0-0, 0; Wiehl 1-3, 0-0, 3; Lackey 1-8, 3-3, 6; Smart 0-1, 1-2, 1; Smyres 2-4, 0-0, 4; D. Brown 5-12, 4-5, 14; E. Brown 1-8, 1-3, 3; Owens 3-7, 2-4, 8. Totals — 13-45, 11-17, 39. 3-pointers — Wiehl 1, Lackey 1.


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