MHS girls hold off Mulvane's upset bid

By Steve Sell
February 18, 2014
File-Kendall Shaw

MULVANE — Chris Strathman knew that Tuesday had all the makings of a trap game for his McPherson High girls.

With the big showdown coming up Friday in Buhler, the Bullpups first had the matter of dispatching a Mulvane team that has somewhat underachieved in AVCTL Division III play after being considered one of the preseason favorites.

The Bullpups nearly did fall into the trap, but Aubree Burkhart’s potential game-winning 3-pointer was off at the buzzer and MHS escaped with a 58-56 victory to improve to 8-0 in D-III and 13-5 overall after a 2-4 start.

Abby Pedersen’s two free throws with 4.2 seconds left broke the 56-all tie and then MHS had to sweat out Burkhart’s miss, which was about the only thing she did wrong on the night as she poured in 29 points to keep the Wildcats in upset mode, including 14 of 15 from the line as whistles filled the air, leading to 60 total free throw attempts.

"We had pretty good confidence that she (Pedersen) would make the right decision, either get to the line, finish it or kick it. She was going to make the right play,” Strathman said of the final series, as Pedersen took the ball to the basket and drew the foul. 

Once again, the Bullpups had to overcome a halftime deficit, something they have done three times in the last two weeks. They were down 27-22 at the break, but a third-quarter eruption enabled them to not only storm back, but assume a 47-36 lead going into the fourth quarter as they unfurled a 25-point salvo, making 7 of 11 floor shots and 9 of 10 free throws in the eight minutes.

“We got after them pretty good at halftime,” Strathman said. “We thought about making a whole bunch of adjustments and bottom line, we just started guarding better.”

Pedersen finished with 20 points and Ashtyn Schieferecke had the best game of her career with 14. Hannah Willems added 10 points.

Schieferecke has been improving by leaps and bounds the last few games.

“Overall, floor game and everything else tonight, she was really good for us,” Strathman said. “Fourteen points, had some really good finishes inside and also 6 of 6 at the line and everyone of those was pure. She stepped up with confidence and really came through for us.”

The MHS JVs steamrolled the Wildcats 56-9 behind 13 points by Bri Cooks and 12 by Kamryn Collins. The freshmen won 41-29 as Emma Yowell drained five 3-pointers on her way to 24 points.

Now comes the big showdown with Buhler, which is just a game back of MHS in the D-III loss column.

MHS (58) — Bate 0-2, 1-2, 1; Willems 2-6, 4-4, 10; Hoffman 1-1, 2-4, 4; Pedersen 4-9, 9-10, 20; Schieferecke 4-5, 6-6, 14; Ulsaker 1-2, 0-0, 2; Barnes 2-9, 3-5, 7. Totals — 14-34, 25-31, 58. 3-pointers — Pedersen 3, Willems 2.

Mulvane (56) — Melick 5-14, 3-6, 15; Simons 0-0, 2-2, 2; Donaldson 2-5, 1-3, 5; Wilson 0-7, 0-0, 0; Burkhart 6-14, 14-15, 29; Endres 2-3, 1-3, 5. Totals — 16-43, 21-29, 56. 3-pointers — Burkhart 3.


MHS JV (56) — Schmidt 9, Wedel 8, Hoffman 5, Ulsaker 2, Yowell 5, Collins 12, Dossett 2, Cooks 13.


MHS 9th (41) — Wankum 3, Howard 3, Heidebrecht 1, Yowell 24, Collins 6, Ellett 2, Bennett 2.