Chris Strathman is hoping that his McPherson High girls can ride the wave of momentum.
After two straight losses to open the basketball season against ranked, bigger-class schools, the Bullpups broke through on Tuesday for a 55-41 victory over Mulvane in a battle of teams expected to be at the top of AVCTL Division III.
Now the Bullpups will take their renewed confidence to Kansas City on Friday to take on St. Teresa’s Academy at 5:30 p.m. as part of the Hy-Vee Classic. Pre-game on 96.7 FM KBBE begins 15 minutes before tipoff and it is hoped the tournament is on some semblance of schedule. The game also will be aired on TV locally on Cox Cable Channel 22.
“It is a great opportunity to get to play in the Hy-Vee Classic,” said Strathman, whose team lost to Missouri big-class power Blue Springs last year in their initial appearance at Avila University, which is right across the Kansas border. “A select few outside of Kansas City have had the opportunity, so our girls understand that it is a special event.”
Not much is known about St. Teresa’s, but it is not expected to be as strong as Blue Springs was.
“They will be a good challenge for us, but I do feel we match up very well with them,” Strathman said. “It would be great to go into Christmas break with two wins this week. I think the girls got a good confidence boost with our win over Mulvane, so hopefully we can keep it going.”
Janae Barnes had a breakout game for MHS against Mulvane with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Abby Pedersen added 12 points and Hannah Willems made three 3-pointers for nine. The Bullpups also did a much better job handling the ball with just nine turnovers. What also pleased Strathman was the team played four strong quarters, the first time it had done that this year.