No rest for Invite champion MHS boys

By Steve Sell
January 22, 2018
Kendall Shaw

So much for celebrating the fourth straight McPherson Invitational championship for the Bullpup boys.

After playing three games in three nights and defeating worthy challenger Bishop Carroll in the finals on Saturday, the Bullpups had Sunday and today to revel, but they get right back to work on Tuesday when they travel to Newton.

It’s a boys-only night, with the varsity tipping off about 7:00.

The 5-7 Railers are scary, simply from the standpoint they have one of the state’s best players in sophomore guard Ty Berry and a quality big man in Damarius Peterson. They came into the Roundhouse last year and put up a competitive fight, losing only 65-53.

“Newton is a team that is very talented offensively because they can score both inside and outside,” said MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon, whose team is now 12-1. “They have good size with 6-8 Damarius Peterson and Ty Berry is a very talented guard at 6-4.”

A way back, this used to be one of the state’s best rivalries, but the teams are no longer in the same division of the AVCTL and got away from playing each other for a few years.

“Hopefully it will be a hostile environment, which our kids seem to thrive in,” Kinnamon said. “I don't see any letdown (from the tournament). It is hard to believe, but these seniors are only guaranteed 8 more games in their high school careers and I think that realization provides motivation every day.”

The seniors on the team wound up their careers never losing in their 12 games of the McPherson Invitational.

The Bullpups made huge comebacks in both the semifinals and finals of the Invitational, which gives them the confidence to know they can overcome a deficit.

Newton was involved in the El Dorado Tournament this past week and lost to Kapaun and Wichita Collegiate before defeating El Dorado to take seventh place.