MHS boys emerge victorious

By Steve Sell
December 14, 2013
File-Kendall Shaw

TOPEKA — Just call them the blue-collar Bullpups.

There was nothing flashy Friday about the McPherson High boys’ 63-55 victory over Washburn Rural in a matchup of state-ranked teams — just a workmanlike effort.

The Bullpups methodically grinded out their second straight victory in what was their road debut. Both teams entered the night ranked No. 4 in their respective classes, MHS in Class 4A Division I and the Junior Blues in Class 6A.

There were several instances where it appeared the Bullpups were just about to set sail and pull away comfortably, only to see the Junior Blues reel off several runs to work their way back into the game.

“I was happy we were able to finish the game out, but unhappy we didn’t finish out the game stronger,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said.

Some hot 3-point shooting in the first half enabled the Bullpups to construct as much as a 13-point lead, 32-19, but Rural finished strong on a 14-5 sizz to pull within 37-33 at the break.

MHS pushed the advantage back out to nine in the third quarter, but the resilient Junior Blues eventually tied the game at 48-all early in the fourth quarter. However, they could never get the lead and incite their enthusiastic fan base.

It was all MHS after that, however, as its defense came up with numerous good plays. A Kyler Kinnamon trey doubled a three-point lead with 4 minutes to go and from there the Bullpups made just enough free throws to salt it away.

Kinnamon scored 23 points to lead the Bullpups and Peter Horton, who had been flu-ridden early in the week, scored 13. Nathan Nutter just missed double figures with nine.

The Bullpups made seven 3-pointers in the game, six of those coming in the first half.

Brock Peterson led Rural with 15 points.

Coach Kinnamon was pleased with some of his role players who made contributions.

“Avery Gabel gave us an outstanding lift off the bench,” Kinnamon said. “Keshwan (Sewell) was better in the first half than Keshawn’s ever been. Just an overall good team win in an intense game and in a fun place to play.”

The MHS JVs fell to 0-2 with a 51-40 loss. Marcus McDaniel and Spenser Wine scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. The C-team, now 1-1, lost 61-50 despite a 20-point eruption by Caleb Spaich and 10 more from Brock Malm.

The Bullpups return home Tuesday to host Mulvane.

MHS (63) — Pyle 0-2, 0-0, 0; Kinnamon 7-14, 6-10, 23; R. Horton 3-4, 0-0, 6; P. Horton 3-6, 6-6, 13; Wine 0-0, 0-3, 0; Nutter 3-4, 1-2, 9; Sewell 2-3, 1-2, 5; Gabel 2-3, 2-2, 7. Totals — 20-34, 16-25, 63. 3-pointers — Kinnamon 3, Nutter 2, P. Horton 1, Gabel 1.

Rural (55) — Edwards 4-11, 1-2, 10; Singer 2-5, 0-0, 4; White 4-6, 1-3, 10; Peterson 6-15, 3-3, 15; Michalski 3-5, 0-0, 9; Montney 0-2, 0-0, 0; Fankhauser 1-2, 0-0, 2; Lutz 1-1, 0-0, 3; Hickel 0-1, 0-0, 0; Dortch 1-1, 0-0, 2. Totals — 22-49, 5-8, 55. 3-pointers — Michalski 3, Edwards 1, White 1, Lutz 1.

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MHS JV (40) — McDaniel 11, Reed 2, Smith 2, Loecker 4, Spaich 2, Gabel 9, Wine 10.

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MHS C (50) — Reifschneider 2, Lackey 6, Kirchner 2, Leaf 3, Malm 10, Hoover 2, Gerbrandt 2, Spaich 20. 3 points unaccounted for.


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