Critical home games for MHS cagers on Tuesday

By Steve Sell
February 10, 2014
File-Kendall Shaw

McPherson High’s basketball teams begin the second round of Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division III play Tuesday night when Winfield makes the 100-mile trip to invade the Roundhouse.

The girls’ game tips off the action at 6 p.m., with the boys to follow. Coverage on 96.7 KBBB FM starts at 5:45.

Winfield is expected to be a dangerous opponent for both Bullpup teams. 

For MHS girls’ coach Chris Strathman, he well remembers the first meeting when Janae Barnes’ game-winner in the closing seconds saved the Bullpups in a 37-35 victory.

“Winfield continues to be a dangerous team, as they have greatly improved this year,” said Strathman, whose team is 5-0 in D-III and 9-5 overall as it continues to chase Buhler for the top sub-state seed. “They have lost three of their last four, but one of those was to Mulvane in the Mulvane Tourney and two were to Clearwater, which is also a very solid team.  They rely a lot on the 3-pointer, but also have a very athletic post player that has given us troubles in the past.”

The Vikings are 9-6 overall and 3-2 in D-III play, so a win would get them in the race for the first time in many a year.

The game is especially important for MHS since it has only one home game left after Tuesday, that being on Friday against last-place El Dorado. The Bullpups play their last three regular-season games on the road, including a huge showdown with Buhler.  

“It is very important for us to protect our home court as we have our last three league games on the road beginning next week,” Strathman said.

The Bullpups are coming off a 40-35 road victory over Dodge City, a game they trailed 31-28 going into the fourth quarter. MHS overcame a poor shooting night from the field by going 19 of 24 at the line.

The Winfield boys probably burned their film from the first meeting. The Vikings entered that game with high upset hopes, but the Bullpups whipsawed them 75-38, probably not a true indication of Winfield’s talent.

The Vikings are 3-2 in league play and 9-6 overall. They possess one of the league’s best players in Will Adler and a good big man in Jacob Dennett.

"Winfield has a lot of parts that have yet to mesh into the whole" said MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon, whose team is 5-0 in the league and 12-1 overall. "Adler is a good scorer with the ability to get 20-plus, Dennett is a large post kid that rebounds well and (Sam) Bertholf plays like a coach's son. We jumped on them early down there and will need a fast start again."

Kinnamon isn't sure who will be available, which is a concern. Peter Horton played sparingly Friday in the 51-37 wrestling match at Dodge City because of back issues and Ryan Horton is again ailing with illness. 

• Updated Sub-State Records •

• Boys •

McPherson, 12-1

Abilene, 9-4

Buhler, 6-8

Ulysses, 6-9

• Girls •

Buhler, 10-4

McPherson, 9-5

Abilene, 7-6

Ulysses, 6-9