Hoffman provides spark in MHS sub-state victory

By Steve Sell
March 06, 2014
Kendall Shaw

Madison Hoffman was McPherson High's energizer bunny here Thursday.

On a night the Bullpups slogged through much of their Class 4A Division I sub-state opener against overmatched Ulysses, Hoffman sent positive volts throughout the rest of the team.

She came off the bench to share team scoring honors with 10 points, but also came up with four rebounds, four steals and three assists to help the Bullpups to a lopsided 54-21 victory to set up a 6 p.m. Saturday showdown with Buhler, the third meeting of the year between the teams. At stake is a trip to Salina's Bicentennial Center and next week's state tournament.

"We asked at halftime who was playing harder," MHS coach Chris Strathman said. "And Cassidy Wedel or somebody said, 'Madison has. I said, I know Madison has, that's obvious, but which team? Ulysses played harder than we did in the first half, but Madison was outstanding tonight. Effort-wise on the defensive end and penetrated gaps and created for others on the offensive end. And for her, 10 points I would imagine is a career high. (She) Did a good job as well knocking down her free throws, 6 for 6, so she did a great job.'"

MHS' team defense was outstanding as the Bullpups led 23-7 at the half. They also closed the game strong in the fourth quarter with a 21-4 rush, with Hoffman scoring seven points.

Abby Pedersen and Hannah Willems also scored 10 points, though they struggled to get outside shots to go down, going just 3 of 21 combined. However, they joined forces to go 10 of 10 at the line and the Bullpups had another magnificent game by going 23 of 28 at the stripe, continuing a pattern that has seen them make more free throws than field goals.

"That was pretty sharp," Strathman said of the foul shooting. "Overall what's that, 82 percent? We'll take that any night from the line."

Morgan Price was the lone bright spot for the Tigers with a double-double, 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The 16-5 Bullpups, in winning for the 14th time in the last 15 games, now get another matchup with Buhler. They have won the first two meetings, but Strathman knows just how capable the Crusaders are.

"We'll have our hands full again on Saturday night," Strathman said. "(Taryn) Torgerson played great down the stretch (against Abilene). She had some big baskets tonight and (Alex) Keller was always attacking like she will. Team defense is going to be a key, but obviously so is our matchup on (Jessica) Steffen."

The Bullpups generally match up Brooke Bate on Steffen, but she tweaked her ankle against Ulysses and Strathman wound up playing her less than 10 minutes. He added, though, that he had planned to play Hoffman more anyway, because he wanted Bate to be fully rested for Saturday.

MHS (54) — Schmidt 0-0, 1-2, 1; Wedel 2-2, 0-0, 4; Bate 0-2, 0-0, 0; Willems 2-11, 4-4, 10; Hoffman 2-5, 6-6, 10; Pedersen 1-10, 7-8, 10; Schieferecke 2-2, 3-4, 7; Ulsaker 0-1, 2-2, 2; Barnes 4-7, 0-2, 8; Yowell 1-2, 0-0, 2; Collins 0-1, 0-0, 0; Cooks 0-0, 0-0, 0. Totals — 14-43, 23-28, 54. 3-pointers — Willems 2, Pedersen 1.

Ulysses (21) — Gallegos 1-8, 0-2, 2; Najera 0-1, 2-2, 2; Price 4-10, 0-0, 10; Arnold 2-5, 1-2, 5; Branscum 1-4, 0-0, 2; Corral 0-2, 0-0, 0; Balderrama 0-2, 0-0, 0; Galindo 0-1, 0-0, 0. Totals — 8-34, 3-6, 21. 3-pointers — Price 10. 

• Buhler 55, Abilene 44 — The Abilene Cowgirls put a scare into Buhler, which had won a 28-point decision between the teams earlier in the year.

Abilene led 44-42 with 4:53 left in the game, but Buhler turned up the heat and didn’t allow a point the rest of the way as the Crusaders finished the game on a 13-0 run.

Abilene was a terrific 11 of 17 from the field in the first half, but collapsed the final two quarters by making only 6 of 26, as it had a lot of trouble with Buhler’s pressure defense.

Alex Keller, who seems to thrive in the Roundhouse, led Buhler with 16 points while All-State candidate Jessica Steffen chipped in with 15. Taryn Torgerson had a big game off the glass with 10 rebounds.

The loss spoiled a remarkable performance by Abilene sophomore Belle Barbieri, who accumulated 22 points and 14 rebounds. McKenzie Funston chipped in with 15 points, but the rest of the Cowgirls scored just seven.

Buhler (55) — Steffen 4-8, 4-4, 15; Dick 1-2, 1-2, 3; Balding 1-3, 0-0, 2; Domsch 1-2, 0-0, 2; Keller 4-15, 7-11, 16; Rohr 2-4, 0-0, 4; Torgerson 3-7, 0-0, 7; Burns 3-5, 0-0, 6. Totals — 19-46, 12-17, 55. 3-pointers — Steffen 3, Keller 1, Torgerson 1.

Abilene (44) — Geist 1-5, 0-0, 3; Thompson 1-5, 0-o, 2; Barbieri 9-13, 4-10, 22; Funston 6-16, 0-0, 15; Taylor 0-4, 2-2, 2. Totals — 17-43, 6-12, 44. 3-pointers — Funston 3, Geist 1.


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