When McPherson High’s boys walked off the court last year in Kansas City after losing to Liberty North in their Hy-Vee Classic debut, they felt like they gave the game away.
Now they get a chance to make amends.
“This is something that the kids are really looking forward to,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. “They want to redeem themselves on state-wide TV for what they considered a subpar performance last year. It will be fun to play someone who is not as familiar with us as our usual opponents."
But it will be a tall order — literally.
This year’s opponent at 4:30 p.m. Saturday — Kearney, Mo. — will trot out a lineup with size that the Bullpups have seldom seen.
“When the kids walk out on the court it is going to look like a seventh-grade team walking on the floor against a high school team,” Kinnamon said. “Their starting lineup is 6-8 and 250 pounds, 6-7, 6-6, and a couple of small guards at 6-1. They are methodical in their approach and play a lot of zone defense. We have to be able to defend their big people inside. We are going to try and get the pace going quickly and hope to wear their size down. Rebounding and pace of play will be a huge determining factor in the game.”
The Bullpups take a 3-0 record into their 2013 finale, with blue-collar wins over Salina Central and Washburn Rural and a blowout laugher of Mulvane in their league opener.
Kearney is 3-1 after a 77-68 victory Wednesday night over Truman. It was the first time this year that it had shown some offensive punch as it had entered the game averaging 43 points. Reece Frazell, who is 6-6, scored 21 points for the Bulldogs, while 6-8 Dray Starzl chipped in with 18.
Kinnamon said the Bulldogs are a tremendous free throw shooting team and didn't hurt their stats against Truman by making 32 of 39.
The Bullpups are averaging 66 points a game, led by a 20-point average by Kyler Kinnamon.
Saturday’s game will be televised locally on Cox Cable Channel 22 and it should start on time since it’s the first game of the final session. Pregame on 96.7 KBBE FM starts at 4:15 p.m.