Bullpup boys win 7th straight

By Steve Sell
January 09, 2015
Max Pyle

McPherson High's boys were well on their way to their seventh-straight feel-good night here Friday.

The Bullpups were once again putting on a Roundhouse-pleasing basketball clinic, up 53-28 on Augusta midway through the third quarter when All-State All-Class point guard Kyler Kinnamon drove down the lane for a layup attempt.

Kinnamon went down and didn't get up as he was holding his knee. Bullpup Nation suddenly found its collective hearts stuck in their throats.

Kinnamon did get up, but didn't play the rest of the game. The shaken Bullpups went through the motions the rest of the way for a 72-46 victory, but all the attention afterward was on the team's heartbeat.

"We really don't know (the extent of the injury)," MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said after the game. "Obviously that kind of took the air out of everything, took the air out of the building, took the air out of me."

Kyler Kinnamon said after the game that he didn't believe it was too serious, perhaps a hyperextension. But, of course, he'll have to see how much it swells up overnight.

The game seemed secondary after his injury. The facts were that Drew Pyle lit it up for 24 points, including four 3-pointers, and the Bullpups again played another great first half — up 44-17 — before playing out the string.

Augusta had no answer for the Bullpups' blinding quickness and length on defense. The Orioles were just 7 of 25 in the first half when it mattered, but did end up 17 of 50 for the game. However, they turned it over 11 times in the first half and just five in the second half, as they were much better with the disruptive Kinnamon on the bench.

Payton Stephens, whose game-opening dunk signified the hammer the Bullpups were about to drop, scored 12 points, while Kinnamon and Nathan Nutter finished with 10. MHS, after blazing to 16 of 29 in the first half, fell off drastically in the second half and finished 27 of 58 for 47 percent, off about 10 percent from its season average.

Dustyn McEachern scored 21 for the Orioles, 13 in the third quarter when they outscored MHS 21-16. The Bullpups suffocated top scorer Connor Hurst, holding him to 3 of 15 and seven points.

"The first half we were flying around, getting after it," Kinnamon said. "We played like we play. We were sharing the ball. We had 14 assists, but the second half we had five. That kind of shows what he (Kyler) is able to do for us… to say that I'm worried is an understatement."

The Bullpups go on the road Tuesday to play arch-rival Buhler, which was upset by Winfield tonight.

The MHS JVs were a 69-41 winner behind 15 points by Mason Alexander. Eleven Bullpups in all scored.

The ninth-grade boys were actually pushed for one of the rare times with a 45-32 victory. Drew Labertew and Sam Brossard led the way with 17 and 14 points, respectively.

MHS (72) — McDaniel 0-4, 0-0, 0; Reed 0-0, 0-2, 0; Loecker 1-1, 0-0, 2; D. Pyle 8-16, 4-4, 24; B. Pyle 2-3, 0-0, 6; Kinnamon 3-7, 3-3, 10; Stephens 5-8, 1-1, 12; Alexander 0-1, 0-0, 0; Spaich 1-1, 0-0, 2; Wine 1-6, 0-0, 2; Nutter 4-6, 2-2, 10; Gabel 2-5, 0-0, 4. Totals — 27-58, 10-12, 72. 3-pointers — D. Pyle 4, B. Pyle 2, Kinnamon 1, Stephens 1.

Augusta (46) — Albright 0-3, 0-2, 0; Carter 2-9, 3-3, 7; McEachern 7-14, 3-3, 21; Hurst 3-15, 1-2, 7; Weakley 3-5, 1-1, 7; Marcotte 0-1, 0-0, 0; Howerton 2-3, 0-0, 4. Totals — 17-50, 8-11, 46. 3-pointers — McEachern 4.

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MHS JV (69) — Lackey 6, McDaniel 6, Smith 8, Loecker 5, B. Pyle 8, Malm 5, Alexander 15, Spaich 7, Leaf 3, Gerbrandt 2, Seidl 4.

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MHS 9th (45) — Nikkel 1, Labertew 17, Armstrong 5, Alexander 4, Diggs 4, Brossard 14.


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