No. 1 MHS edges No. 2 Andale in a classic

By Steve Sell
January 27, 2015
Cindy Kinnamon-Contributed Photo

ANDALE — It was exactly what No. 1 vs. No. 2 should be.

In an amazing game of wild scoring swings, it was No. 1 McPherson High that had the final push to squeak past No. 2 Andale 57-55 Tuesday night as the top two undefeated teams in Class 4A Division I played at a rarefied level.

It was the Bullpups’ 19-4 run that started in the third quarter and spilled over into the fourth that turned the tide. MHS seemingly was in trouble, down 40-32, but it turned to its defense to create havoc and inspired the winning stretch.

“We did a really good job, we just kept fighting and fighting and fighting,” said McPherson coach Kurt Kinnamon, whose team is now 13-0, has run off 27 straight wins and is 36-1 over the past two seasons. “Things were looking pretty bleak and we had some foul trouble... we had some plays where we didn’t get back (that) simply was bad effort. We don’t have bad effort plays very often. I thought we eliminated that in the second half.”

The crazy back-and-forth scoring runs broke down like this:

• MHS opened with the game’s first six points.

• Andale responded with a 15-4 sizz to lead 15-10.

• The Bullpups scored 10 straight and had a 14-3 rip to lead 24-18.

• Andale closed the half on an 11-4 run to lead 29-28 at the half.

• The Indians began the second half on a 9-2 lick to lead 38-30.

• The Bullpups responded with a 19-4 push for a 49-42 lead.

• Andale unfurled an 8-2 salvo to pull within 51-50.

Down the stretch, it was MHS All-State All-Class guard Kyler Kinnamon who canned four straight free throws to preserve the game.

“Both teams, they looked tired,” Kurt Kinnamon said. “Coming off an emotional high of tournament wins for both of us, even though it’s No. 1 vs. No. 2, I thought we struggled a little bit. You know not having Avery (starter Gabel, out with a foot injury) hurt our depth some. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys. If you were going to buy a ticket to see No. 1 vs. No. 2, I think you definitely got your money’s worth.”

Drew Pyle had tired legs early, but got his second wind after intermission to score 12 of his team-high 16 points. Kinnamon made 10 of 11 free throws and scored 14, while Payton Stephens was able to score 10 even though he was giving away some size.

Amazingly, the Bullpups did not make a single 3-pointer in the game, going 0 for 10.

Clint Walsted scored 11 points for Andale, but none in the second half as he was limited to just two shots. Jason Hermreck and Hunter Knoblauch scored 10.

Andale made an amazing comeback to win the JV game, 49-45. It was 39-21 MHS going into the fourth quarter when some clanky foul shooting led to a 28-6 Indian comeback. Marcus McDaniel scored all 13 of his points in the third quarter to lead the Bullpups.

The freshmen were a 46-28 winner behind 14 points by Drew Labertew, and 11 apiece by Thomas Diggs and Sam Brossard.

The Bullpups, who played four grueling games in six days, have some much-needed time off as they don’t play again until a week from Friday when they host Dodge City.

MHS (57) — Loecker 1-2, 0-0, 2; D. Pyle 7-12, 2-2, 16; B.Pyle 0-2, 0-0, 0; Kinnamon 2-7, 10-14, 14; Stephens 5-9, 0-2, 10; Wine 3-4, 3-5, 9; Nutter 1-3, 4-4, 6. Totals — 19-44, 19-24, 57. 3-pointers — None.

Andale (55) — Roe 3-4, 0-0, 6; Walsted 4-8, 0-0, 11; Winter 0-0, 1-2, 1; Anderson 0-1, 0-0, 0; Hermreck 2-3, 5-6, 10; H. Knoblauch 5-6, 0-1, 10; Ast 3-3, 3-4, 9; B. Knoblauch 2-9, 4-4, 8. Totals — 19-34, 13-17, 55. 3-pointers — Walsted 3, Hermreck 1.


MHS JV (45) — Lackey 3, McDaniel 13, Smith 2, Loecker 1, B. Pyle 7, Malm 1, Alexander 9, Spaich 5, Gerbrandt 2, Diggs 2.


MHS 9th (46) — Nikkel 1, Labertew 14, Myers 1, Wills 2, J. Alexander 2, Diggs 11, Seidl 4, Brossard 11.