McPherson High’s boys have had Tuesday’s game with Circle circled on the calendar for a long time.
It was a year ago the Bullpups suffered, without question, the most unfathomable loss in school history.
MHS went to Towanda undefeated and coming off a victory three days earlier over Class 6A’s third-ranked team, Shawnee Mission East, in the championship game of the McPherson Invitational. The Bullpups were playing at peak efficiency and a lopsided victory over the hapless T-Birds, who had only one win to their credit, seemed imminent.
But on a night when the basket seemed to get smaller and smaller and the Bullpups got tighter and tighter, the T-Birds emerged with a 45-44 victory, sending shockwaves throughout the state.
MHS gets its chance at redemption at the Roundhouse, but this time it’s against a T-Bird team that has turned things around, as it will be 9-4 coming in.
Game time is 7:30 p.m., as this is a boys-only game. The JV starts at 6, with a freshmen game at 4.
KBBE 96.7 FM coverage starts 15 minutes prior to tip time.
It will also be Bullpup Poster Night. Children ages 1-12 will receive a free Bullpup poster and the Bullpup players will be available in the commons area following the game to sign them.
MHS won’t be entering the game coming off a McPherson Invitational title, but it is coming in after its best performance of the year, a 64-53 victory over last year’s Class 6A state runner-up Blue Valley West.
MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon, who admittedly didn’t prepare the Bullpups last year for Circle like he normally does other teams, said he learned from that mistake. He has compiled an extensive scouting report so last year’s result doesn’t happen again.
“Circle is a very dangerous team because they have one guy that can really score the ball and take over a game in Dylan Driver,” he said. “They are also a game that we have had circled on the calendar because of what took place last year and the celebration that they threw on the court following the game. We also kind of go into this game on a similar high. Although we didn't win the tournament, I think our kids feel very good about what they were able to accomplish on Saturday and I hope we don't have the same sort of letdown that we had last year.”
The Bullpups take a 10-1 record into the game as they were impressive the final two nights of the McPherson Invitational after being stunned in the opener by Wichita North.