MHS cagers host Rose Hill Tuesday

By Steve Sell
January 13, 2014
Kendall Shaw

They weren’t in the same room when the question was asked, but McPherson High basketball coaches Kurt Kinnamon and Chris Strathman used the identical term when queried about Rose Hill, which comes into the Roundhouse Tuesday night.

Struggled.

The Rocket teams have combined for exactly one victory, that by the girls in a recent game against hapless El Dorado.

So both MHS teams are expecting good things as they move closer to midseason tournament play.

The girls start the action at 6 p.m., with the boys to follow. KBBE coverage on 96.7 FM begins at 5:45.

“They have struggled, but play hard and have had some success on the offensive end,” Kinnamon said of the 0-7 Rockets. “It will be fun to see if our defense can continue to be as good as it has been.”

The Bullpups are coming off a 3-0 week that included blowouts of Buhler, Hutchinson and Winfield, all buoyed by their relentless defensive pressure.

Rose Hill has had some close calls, which means the Bullpups had better take it seriously. It lost 48-47 to El Dorado, which was picked to finish in the upper half of the league before the season. There also were three-point losses to Garden Plain and Emporia. The Rockets were an 11-point loser to Winfield, a team the Bullpups dismantled on Friday by 37 points.

The Rockets figured to be a highly competitive team this year, but during the summer the outstanding Waddell brothers, both quality inside players, decided to shop their services and wound up transferring to Wichita Collegiate.

Kinnamon has been pleased with his team’s chemistry, as it has made the extra pass a standard aspect of its game. MHS is shooting just over 50 percent from the field and just a shade under 75 at the line.

The Bullpups will be trying to keep from looking ahead, as a road game at Friday at El Dorado could provide a challenge.

On the girls’ side, the Bullpups will try to get back to the .500 mark for the first time this year. They are 3-4 and looking for their third win in the last four games, the only loss a two-pointer to Hutchinson in which the offense took the night off.

Rose Hill’s 1-6 record includes a 47-46 loss to Winfield, a team MHS nipped Friday when Janae Barnes made a shot with just over a second left for a 37-35 victory. That alone should get the Bullpups’ attention.

“Rose Hill has struggled this year so far, but they have played some good teams close and took Winfield down to the wire in their first meeting” Strathman said. “We expect to see a lot of zone, but if not we will be ready. Our girls need to have another good week and hopefully get things rolling as we head into the midseason tournament in a couple of weeks.”


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