MHS cagers go to Andale Tuesday

By Steve Sell
February 03, 2014
Kendall Shaw

There’s no need for McPherson High girls coach Chris Strathman to scramble far and wide for a scouting report.

His Bullpups travel Tuesday to Andale to take on a team they defeated 45-34 Friday night in the semifinals of the Mid America Classic.

“It will be tough to play them so quick, but we know we will have to be ready,” said Strathman, whose team wound up taking second place after a 44-37 loss Saturday to Manhattan in the championship game. “The good thing is we don't have to spend a ton of time scouting each other...just some minor changes from how we might have guarded each other on Friday.”

The teams have developed a nice rivalry in recent years.

“We have played Andale a lot over the years in our tournament,” Strathman said. “This will be the first time we have gone to their place, so I bet they are very excited to host us this time.  Our girls will have to be ready to go. We’ll definitely get Andale's best shot tomorrow night.”

The key, of course, is how MHS defends Andale point guard Brittany Meyer, who was held to 10 points Friday by the tag-team of Brooke Bate and Madison Hoffman. She wound up making the All-Tourney Team, along with teammate Lauren Rowland and MHS’ Abby Pedersen.

The Bullpups take an 8-5 record into the game, while Andale is 7-6.

The boys’ game should be dynamite as the teams are ranked No. 2 in Class 4A Division I and Class 4A Division II, respectively. The Bullpups are 11-1, with their last action coming on Tuesday in a 66-32 thrashing of Circle. Andale is 12-1, having handled Buhler on Friday. Its only loss was a one-point decision to 3A power Cheney.

MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon says it will be state tournament atmosphere as this is the Bullpups’ first foray into Andale. He saw them in person in the Buhler game and came away more than impressed.

“Andale will be the most well-rounded team that we face,” Kinnamon said. “(Hunter) Knoblauch is quick, fast and strong. They have an excellent inside-outside game. Their kids are very physically strong. Andale always has great support and it will be a difficult environment to play in.”

Knoblauch is a slasher who also can hit the 3-pointer. Kinnamon also is impressed with 6-5 Jeff Ast, who could be one of the best inside players the team has faced, though playing Blue Valley West and its towering front line should have prepared the Bullpups well.

Coverage on 96.7 KBBE is scheduled for 5:45 p.m., weather permitting.