• SOCCER TEAM ON FIRE — Since losing a gut-wrenching 3-2 overtime decision to Newton on April 21, the McPherson High girls soccer team has steamrolled everything in its path.
The Bullpups have reeled off five straight wins, piling up 34 goals while allowing just one. They have put together back-to-back 10-0 routs, with Monday’s pummeling of Augusta wrapping up the AVCTL Division III-IV title for a second consecutive year.
The league teams have offered the Bullpups little resistance. In the seven league games this season, MHS recorded an astounding 54 goals and gave up 3, which are similar to last year’s numbers.
That’s why coach Chris Adrian tries to schedule tough non-conference teams, such as the Salina schools, Wichita Trinity and a good field in the McPherson Invitational, which was won by Maize South, the No. 1 team in the class.
The Bullpups’ rise has coincided with the emergence of freshman Claire Hedlund, who is an energizer bunny. She has had a four- and three-goal game during the current winning streak and her presence has opened up new opportunities for MHS’ “Big 3” of Alayna Wallace, Aislinn Hughes and Jessie Kynaston. Wallace has taken advantage to pile up a ton of assists while Hughes isn’t surrounded by two or three defenders as she was earlier in the year. Kynaston has returned to last year’s form as opposing teams are confounded by the plethora of offensive weapons at the Bullpups’ disposal.
So much possession of the ball has helped the defense tremendously as MHS seemingly has the ball about 75 percent of the game. When you have the ball, the other team can’t score.
Adrian said Monday the team is peaking at the right time and hopefully that translates into another berth in the state Final Four, which would be a third straight.
• A ROYALS TEASE? — It seems like when the Royals have one of their rare offensive outbursts — Monday’s 7-3 victory was only the third time this year they have scored at least 7 runs — Kansas City fans keep saying “is this the game that's going to turn it around?”
Royals announcers were saying the very same thing last night after they took care of Tampa Bay, a team they have manhandled in recent years. The Royals have not won back-to-back games since April 16, when they were completing a four-game winning streak. When the Royals do win, they seem to turn around and follow it up with an offensive clunker. They have played 31 games, scoring two or less runs in 15 of them.
The Kansas City offense erupted for 13 hits, with Eric Hosmer staying on fire with three more and he’s now gained 100 points on his average in the last two weeks. It’s ironic this outburst took place since Alcides Escobar, hitting all of .183 before the game, was returned to the leadoff spot, a place he used to occupy during the Royals’ halcyon days despite the fact he's allergic to walks.
• WHINY WARRIORS — I’m not a big fan of the NBA, but I do watch it when it gets to crunch time.
I thought it was a neat story in 2015 when the Golden State Warriors won the championship after many years where they were irrelevant. They reminded me of the old Laker “Showtime” teams of Magic, Kareem and Big Game James Worthy.
But success has gone to the Warriors’ heads. Their ego took a hit last year when they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in The Finals after having a 3-1 lead, but they added Kevin Durant this year and have looked to be the dominant team.
But I can hardly stand to watch them anymore. I viewed their last couple of games against Utah and they spent more time complaining about every single call than playing the game. Draymond Green embarrasses himself and if I were an NBA official, I would T him up early in the game because then he’d know another would cause him to be tossed out.
NBA officials want the games to be decided by the best players, but sometimes you have to put a stop to the utter nonsense.