MHS girls shake off slow start for 53-36 win

By Steve Sell
December 12, 2017

ABILENE — McPherson High's girls didn't knock off a No. 1 team as they did last Tuesday, but they did defeat a No. 6 team this Tuesday, getting past Abilene 53-36 after being down by 5 points after a quarter.

The victory improved the Bullpups to 3-1 on the year, but it didn't come easy. The Cowgirls entered the game 3-0, and early on put a scare into MHS, which did appear to have a bit of  Miege hangover as it saw Abilene come out and make its first four 3-point attempts in the first quarter to take a 16-11 lead.

But in the second quarter, MHS ramped up the defense and pitched a 14-0 shutout to lead 25-16 at the break and kept the game in double digits most of the second half.

"The first quarter they definitely came out and were the aggressor," MHS coach Chris Strathman said. "The (Hannah) Willey girl and (Sydney) Burton girl as guards are both very good players. They run a lot of stuff for them, lots of ball screens for kick-out 3s and things like that. We weren't very locked in during the first quarter. Second quarter we got better on the defensive end. They still got good looks, but they weren't going in. The last three quarters we outscored them 43-20, so we did play better. It still kind of felt like we were in quicksand on offensive end."

Taylor Robertson shook off a slow start to score 23 points to lead MHS, but it was the post play of Cassie Cooks that keyed the win as after missing her first three shots, she was 7 of 8 the rest of the way and scored 14 points.

"As far as the buckets inside, we knew she (Cooks) could score against this team," Strathman said. "The last two games she's been kind of undersized, especially, obviously, against Derby. We felt like she could get going inside tonight if we could get her the ball in scoring position."

Burton and Willey were much of the Abilene offense with 13 and 10 points, respectively. After making 6 of 10 shots in the first quarter, MHS limited the Cowgirls to 3 of 27 over the final three quarters.

The MHS JV girls played stifling defense and rolled to a 56-19 victory. Andrea Sweat led a balanced MHS offense with 10 points as eight players scored.

The C-team rode a 26-point outburst by Grace Pyle to a 53-22 rout. Kassidy Beam added 12.

After playing three of four on the road to open the season, the Bullpups are home on Friday to take on Winfield, then wrap up 2017 play at home on Tuesday against Andover.

MHS (53) — Yowell 0-2, 0-0, 0; Ruddle 2-4, 1-1, 5; Hageman 1-5, 0-0, 2; Schieferecke 0-4, 0-0, 0; Pyle 0-1, 0-0, 0; Hett 2-4, 2-2, 6; Sweat 1-2, 0-0, 3; Robertson 8-16, 3-3, 23; Cooks 7-11, 0-0, 14; Ellet 0-1, 0-0, 0. Totals — 21-50, 6-6, 53. 3-pointers — Robertson 4, Sweat 1.

Abilene (36) — Holmes 1-4, 0-2, 3; Roth 0-2, 0-0, 0; Olberding 1-3, 0-0, 2; Debenham 0-0, 4-4, 4; Burton 3-14, 5-5, 13; Willey 2-10, 4-6, 10; E. Bathhurst 2-4, 0-0, 4. Totals — 9-37, 13-17, 36. 3-pointers — Burton 2, Willey 2, Holmes 1.


MHS JV (56) — Beam 3, Yowell 9, Burghart 3, Ruddle 9, Godwin 5, Pyle 6, Sweat 10, Ellet 7, Eisenbarth 4.


MHS 9th (53) — Beam 12, Godwin 5, Stout 3, Del Campo 4, Pyle 26, Collins 3.