Slow start dooms McPherson High girls

By Steve Sell
December 06, 2013
Kendall Shaw

Maybe the best news for the McPherson High girls in their 61-43 loss to Salina Central here Friday in the season opener for both teams was that the Mustangs could very well be the best team they play all year.

The Bullpups’ painful lack of experience was magnified by the fact the Mustangs were chockfull of veterans, including four-year starters Shaelyn Martin and Emily Wood, both of whom will be playing at the NCAA Division I level next year at Kansas State and Nebraska, respectively.

Martin, who the Bullpups had controlled during most of her career, made up for those past performances by scoring 22 points, while Wood controlled the game from the point with 13 points and four assists.

"It was clear, obviously, who the experienced team was," MHS coach Chris Strathman said. "Their body language was outstanding and they were very confident and we were shaky. Both mentally and physically, you could just see it. They preyed on that. They pressured us and we didn't handle it very well."

Central closed out the first quarter on a 9-0 rush for an 18-4 lead, then completed the 17-0 run by scoring the first eight points of the second period. By half’s end it was 34-13, though the Bullpups were their own worst enemy as they missed 13 of 20 free throws, while the Mustangs were knocking down 13 of their 15 attempts.

MHS showed some third-quarter grit by outscoring the Mustangs 13-12, but the early deficit was too much to overcome. It was encouraging, though, that MHS outscored Central 30-27 after the halftime adjustments.

"We did a better job in the second half of competing," Strathman said. "We still had way too many turnovers, 29, that's the most we've had in a long, long time."

Abby Pedersen and reserve Ashtyn Schieferecke led the Bullpups with 11 points apiece. Schieferecke also yanked down five rebounds as she made an impressive debut, though she did roll her ankle in the JV game and her status is uncertain.

"She came off the bench and played very well," Strathman said. "Those are her first high school minutes, period. Eleven points and five boards in 13 minutes is very, very good."

The MHS JVs had the same trouble as the varsity as the Mustangs were a 45-28 winner. Cassidy Wedel's five points led the Bullpups.

The MHS C-team got off to a good start with a 35-25 victory behind 17 points by Kamryn Collins and 11 by Emma Yowell.

MHS will have a week to work on its game before going on the road Friday to play at Class 6A Washburn Rural.

MHS (43) — Schmidt 0-1, 2-6, 2; Wedel 2-3, 0-1, 5; Bate 1-3, 0-0, 2; Willems 2-3, 0-2, 4; Hoffman 0-0, 3-5, 3; Pedersen 3-6, 3-4, 11; Schieferecke 5-6, 1-4, 11; Ulsaker 0-0, 2-4, 2; Barnes 1-7, 0-0, 2; Cooks 0-3, 1-2, 1. Totals — 14-32, 12-28, 43. 3-pointers — Pedersen 2, Wedel 1.

Salina Central (61) — Wood 2-8, 8-9, 13; Morris 2-4, 4-4, 9; Bradshaw 0-0, 4-6, 4; Peters 3-6, 0-0, 6; Hamilton 0-1, 0-0, 0; Driver 0-1, 1-2, 1; Mayfield 3-3, 0-0, 6; Martin 6-16, 8-8, 22. Totals — 16-39, 25-29, 61. 3-pointers — Martin 2, Wood 1, Morris 1.


MHS JV (28) — Schmidt 4, Wedel 5, Hoffman 4, Yowell 2, Schieferecke 4, Ulsaker 3, Collins 4, Ellet 2.


MHS C (35) — Howard 3, Yowell 11, Bruner 2, Collins 17, Ellet 2.