Bullpups host Andover Tuesday night

By Steve Sell
December 08, 2014
Kendall Shaw

McPherson High girls basketball coach Chris Strathman should get a true measuring stick about his team here Tuesday night.

The Bullpups, who opened their season with a resounding 72-33 victory over youthful El Dorado last Friday, will step way up in competition when they entertain Andover, one of the best teams they’ll play this year.

Game time is 6 p.m, with the boys’ teams meeting at 7:45.

The Bullpups, who sent out a brand-new starting lineup Friday since the only returning regular — Ashtyn Schieferecke — was out with a back injury, face a senior-dominated Trojan team that routed Maize South 59-40 on Friday.

“It’s going to be a big step up,” Strathman said Friday after his team probably surprised a lot of people with their offensive efficiency. “They have a Division I signee (Jaylyn Agnew, who has signed with Creighton). She will be one of the best athletes that we will see all year. She’s a state high jump champion and she’s outstanding.”

The 5-10 Agnew scored 17 points in the opener and 6-0 Hayley Meisch added 11. The Trojans were 16-6 last year and have qualified for state four of the last six years, so they definitely have the pedigree. They return five of their top players and three starters are at least 5-10, which could pose the Bullpups problems since their tallest starter is 5-9.

MHS freshman Taylor Robertson was a revelation in the season opener, scoring 13 of her 15 points in the first half. Sophomore Emma Yowell added 12 points and senior Bri Cooks scored 10 and combined with her freshman sister, Mandi, to sink 9 of 10 shots from the floor. Senior Madison Hoffman ran the offense with precision, dishing out six assists.

In the boys’ game, it could be a long night for the Trojans if the Bullpups play at or near their level of Friday when they bombarded El Dorado 81-29, even though the starters played barely half the game.

Andover was a 60-46 loser to Maize South in its opener.

“Andover will present challenges due to their size” Kinnamon said. “They play a 6-5 guard (Austin Brown) that handles the ball quite a bit on the perimeter. They are a team that plays extremely hard and throws a variety of defenses at teams.”

Andover was 15-7 last season, but 20-point scorer Adam DeKoning graduated. The Trojans do have five seniors, so the cupboard isn’t entirely bare.

MHS was led in its opener by Payton Stephens (20 points), Drew Pyle (19 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists) and Kyler Kinnamon (11 points). Coach Kinnamon was able to get in his younger players for extensive time, as the starters did not take the court in the fourth quarter.