ANDALE — The Andale girls were bound and determined that they weren't going to let Abby Pedersen beat them.
With their attention focused on Pedersen in the first half Thursday night, that left the door open for Janae Barnes, whose 11 first-half points fired the Bullpups to a 21-13 lead.
But it's hard to keep Pedersen down. She shook off the doubling to score 15 of her game-high 18 points in the second half as the Bullpups perhaps played their best game of the year for a 49-28 victory.
Add in the suffocating defense played by guards Brooke Bate and Madison Hoffman and MHS marked an "A" in about every game category.
"I thought that our girls were locked in defensively from the tip and they pretty much didn't let up on the defensive effort the whole game," said MHS coach Chris Strathman, whose team is now 12-5.
Pedersen's 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer gave MHS a 14-11 lead, then the Bullpups brought out the shackles, allowing just two points in the second period to push the lead to eight.
For whatever reason, Andale took defensive stopper Lauren Rowland off of Pedersen in the third quarter and she proceeded to go to town, scoring 11 points in the period as the Bullpups took off and hid as the fourth quarter was academic.
"I'm not sure what happened there (with Andale's strategy)," Strathman said. "Rowland had frustrated Abby in our tournament too and the first half it was tough going for Abby. She hit a big 3 at the end of the first quarter… I'm not sure why they made that adjustment but they did."
Bate and Hoffman took turns frustrating Meyer, who did score 12 points but had to work to get them as she scored seven in the first six minutes, just five the rest of the way.
"Meyer got a couple of looks getting to the basket early, then we kind of adjusted a little bit," Strathman said. "Brooke Bate did a fantastic job on Meyer for the second time this year and Madison Hoffman did good on her as well."
Strathman said the Bullpups made some offensive adjustments to get Barnes down on the block and she showed her full arsenal in maybe her most complete game of the year. She finished with 14 points and dominated the glass.
"She did do a great job of setting the tone," Strathman said. "We moved Janae inside instead of Ashtyn (Schieferecke) inside. So that's one big adjustment we made and it paid off tonight."
No junior varsity information was available at this posting as the game ran late.
Emma Yowell scored five late points down the stretch in the ninth-grade game as the Bullpups hung on for a 34-28 victory. Kamryn Collins scored 11 points, while Yowell and Morgan Howard added eight apiece.
MHS is right back at it Friday with the annual homecoming game against El Dorado, which has not won a game in AVCTL D-III play this year.
MHS (49) — Yowell 1-1, 0-0, 3; Schmidt 1-1, 0-1, 2; Wedel 0-0, 0-2, 0; Bate 0-1, 0-0, 0; Willems 1-4, 3-4, 6; Hoffman 2-2, 0-0, 4; Pedersen 5-8, 5-5, 18; Schieferecke 1-2, 0-0, 2; Ulsaker 0-2, 0-0, 0; Barnes 6-12, 2-2, 14. Totals — 17-33, 10-14, 49. 3-pointers — Pedersen 3, Willems 1, Yowell 1.
Andale (28) — Easter 0-4, 1-4, 1; Meyer 4-10, 3-3, 12; Reichenberger 0-0, 1-2, 1; Hunter 0-2, 0-0, 0; Maxwell 1-1, 0-0, 2; Rowland 2-11, 0-0, 4; Ebert 3-7, 0-0, 6; Leep 1-1, 0-0, 2. Totals — 11-36, 5-8, 28. 3-pointers — Meyer 1.
MHS 9th (34) — Howard 8, Yowell 8, Bruner 6, Collins 11, Ellet 1.