McPherson High’s girls can clinch the outright AVCTL Division III championship here Tuesday when they go head-to-head with their nearest challenger.
Circle comes to town with a 7-1 Division III record and 15-3 mark overall, but a Bullpup victory gives them the championship. MHS is 57-1 in its 58 career Division III games.
Game time is 6 p.m. for Senior Night, though MHS will be home next week for the sub-state. The boys should tip about 7:30.
For those unable to take in the games, follow all the action on 96.7 KBBE-FM with Voice of the Bullpups Jim Joyner on the call.
When the MHS girls and Circle met last month, the Bullpups turned the showdown into a mowdown with a 62-37 victory.
But it’s the T-Birds’ only league loss, so they at least have a chance to move into a tie.
“Circle has still been playing well despite being hit recently by the injury bug,” said MHS coach Chris Strathman, whose team is 17-1, 8-0 in D-III and a winner of 15 straight games. “They lost one of their key guards, Cameron Perry, to an ACL (injury) and have a couple others that are questionable from what I understand.”
The T-Birds, who have been ranked in the Top 5 of Class 4A Division I all season, have lost only to Gardner-Edgerton and Wichita East in addition to the Bullpups.
It’s going to be a special night because seniors Taylor Robertson and Mandi Cooks will be honored.
“They have both done so much for our program over the last four seasons, and have both been a joy to coach and watch them develop,” Strathman said. “We know we still have sub-state games to be played at home as well so it won't be their last home game, but we will still try to make Senior Night special for them.”
The MHS boys aren’t expected to have much trouble with the T-Birds as they can clinch a tie for the league title or win it outright if Augusta is upset by El Dorado. The Bullpups are a game up on Augusta, which is plays on Thursday at the Orioles’ home.
MHS has won 58 straight games in Division III.
MHS routed Circle 80-44 in the first meeting. The T-Birds have been on a slide with seven losses in their last eight games, the only interruption a win over El Dorado last Tuesday. However they have been competitive in some of those games, losing by 3 to Wichita Collegiate and by 5 to Campus.
MHS will be honoring its five seniors — Drew Labertew, Thomas Diggs, Jayse Alexander, Mason Alexander and Ben Pyle.
"Circle is a team that plays mostly zone,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. “We have to get it inside some and play inside-out. Jude Warren is a very good scorer that we have to find defensively. Traditionally Senior Night brings back a lot of very fond memories.”