There was no Wichita North hangover for the McPherson High boys Friday in the consolation round of the 50th annual McPherson Invitational.
Once the Bullpups shook off an early 4-0 deficit, they forced Buhler into throwing the ball all over the lot, as 24 Crusader mechanical errors led to 33 MHS points, keying a 72-41 rout.
The 9-1 Bullpups will play for fifth place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday as they complete what they hope is their last appearance in the Sunshine Bracket for the foreseeable future.
It was the sophomores’ time to shine, as Bullpup 10th-graders accounted for 34 points, led by reserve Avery Gabel with 14. Soph Drew Pyle also was in double figures with 13 and came up with four steals.
“I thought they (the MHS sophomores) tried really hard to do what I wanted,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. “I thought they were better.”
Bullpup veterans Ryan Horton, Peter Horton and Kyler Kinnamon all added 11 points, as five MHS players hit for double figures.
“It looks like we had nice balanced scoring,” Kinnamon said. “When you get five guys in double figures, that’s pretty good.”
MHS led only 13-10 when it went on a 12-2 tear to close out the first quarter, keyed by a technical foul against Buhler coach Denny Wahlgren. That resulted in a five-point possession, as Kinnamon made the two free throws and Peter Horton followed with a trey. MHS led 44-26 at the half, helped by 17 Buhler turnovers, and dominated the rest of the game.
MHS was 28 of 56 from the field and 9 of 12 from the line while turning it over only 11 times.
Shawn Davis scored 15 points for Buhler and Noah Webster added 13. Jace Williams was held to seven, but had some of the game’s most exciting plays with an array of powerful dunks.
Buhler is 0-2 against MHS this season and the teams still have to meet next month in Buhler, with a chance they could meet a fourth time in the sub-state tournament at the Roundhouse.