It was nothing more than a mere formality for the McPherson High boys here Tuesday night against Rose Hill, but that didn't mean they had to hold anything back.
MHS did not fall into the lazy trap of an unbeaten team doddling against a winless team as it blew the doors off the Rockets from the outset before finishing off a 77-26 destruction, their seventh victory in a row to add to their No. 1-ranked resume.
The film of this game could have been used as a teaching tool, as the Bullpups did not commit their first turnover until the last minute of the third quarter and had only five in the game as MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon cleared his bench after the third quarter, giving the starters the rest of the night off.
The Bullpups also clinched the No. 1 seed for next week's McPherson Invitational and looked every bit the part. Pairings will be announced Wednesday.
"When you come in and you look at the stat sheet at halftime and it's zero turnovers, you can pretty well assume good things are happening on the floor," Kinnamon said. "And they were."
It could have been real easy for MHS to mail it in after a hot start, but it played as though it was 0-0 at the start of each quarter.
"Tonight is one of those games where sometimes if a team loses focus it gets a little hard to play and I thought throughout that we were able to do a great job of pressuring and just not letting them do what they wanted to do," Kinnamon said. "And you could see our guys were really enjoying doing that. It's not an ability thing. It's not. A lot of teams have the ability to do what we do. It's a mind-set of 'I'm not going to let my guy catch, I'm not going to let my guy score. If one of my teammates gets beat, I'm going to be there to help. I just thought it was a pretty solid effort.'"
Kyler Kinnamon's nine first-quarter points sent the Bullpups off to the races as it was 21-5 before increasing to 40-12 at the half and 60-18 after three quarters as this game screamed for a running clock, of which there is none in the AVCTL.
Kinnamon concluded the night with 17 points, while Peter Horton and Nathan Nutter scored 10 apiece. MHS was 26 of 49 from the field, 19 of 26 at the line.
In the JV game, the Bullpups came away with a 48-33 triumph. Avery Gabel led a balanced attack with 16 points.
The freshmen, playing a Rose Hill team that basically was all sophomores, were a 47-41 winner as Caleb Spaich tossed in 12 points.
MHS takes a 7-0 record to El Dorado Friday to complete the first half of D-III play. The Bullpups are 4-0 within the division and none of the games have been remotely close.
MHS (77) — McDaniel 1-1, 0-0, 3; Reed 2-2, 1-2, 5; Smith 0-1, 1-2, 1; Loecker 0-0, 0-1, 0; Pyle 3-6, 0-0, 6; Barrett 0-1, 0-0, 0; Kinnamon 5-8, 3-4, 17; R. Horton 4-7, 0-0, 8; P. Horton 4-5, 1-2, 10; Wine 3-6, 3-3, 9; Nutter 3-8, 4-4, 10; Gabel 1-4, 6-8, 8. Totals — 26-49, 19-26, 77. 3-pointers — Kinnamon 4, McDaniel 1, P. Horton 1.
Rose Hill (26) — Haydock 2-4, 1-1, 5; Nickel 1-6, 0-0, 2; Lipscomb 0-1, 0-0, 0; Smith 1-6, 0-0, 2; Welch 0-2, 0-0, 0; Priebe 1-2, 6-8, 8; L. Santo 0-5, 2-2, 2; A. Santo 3-5, 1-2, 7; Ma 0-5, 0-0, 0. Totals — 8-36, 10-13, 26. 3-pointers — None.
MHS JV (48) — McDaniel 8, Reed 3, Smith 6, Loecker 7, Barrett 3, Wine 2, Gabel 16, Spaich 3.
MHS 9th (47) — Reifschneider 2, Kirchner 3, Leaf 6, Malm 7, Hoover 8, Gerbrandt 9, Spaich 12.