Refreshed and recharged.
McPherson High’s basketball teams, who had a rare Tuesday off, return to the court Friday night when they host Dodge City in a pair of non-conference games.
Tipoff at the Roundhouse is 6 p.m. for the girls and 7:45 p.m. for the boys. KBBE-FM 96.7 coverage starts at 5:45 p.m. All fans are asked to wear pink as it’s “Think Pink” Night.
“The girls always really enjoy this game and love wearing our pink uniforms,” MHS coach Chris Strathman said. “We will be honoring several ladies during our halftime presentation. Our entire program was involved in our fundraiser again this year, all the way down to the fourth grade. Our girls take this seriously and always do a great job of raising money for a great cause.”
The Bullpups, who are coming off a second-place performance in the Mid America Classic, will be facing a familiar foe. MHS and Dodge City met in the first round of the Classic and it was a close game for a half before the Bullpups spurted in the second half to win, 53-35.
“We do expect a much tougher game with Dodge City this time,” said Strathman, whose team is 9-4 on the year. “We just had a huge run in the third quarter that really broke the game open. They were also without one of their starters and big girl, Taylor Nichols. She is just another solid post that can cause some matchup problems.”
For the Bullpup boys, it’s been a 10-day respite as they haven’t played since last week’s scintillating victory over Andale in a matchup of then-No. 1 vs. No. 2 in Class 4A Division I. Andale went on to lose on Tuesday to Winfield on a last-second shot by Will Adler.
Dodge City, under longtime coach Dennis Hamilton, comes to town with its vaunted defense that tries to keep games in the 40s.
“Dodge is always well coached,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. “They will run some sort of zone, either 2-3 or 3-2, and they confuse teams by mixing them up. Offensively they push the ball up the floor, but in the halfcourt they are very patient and will keep passing until they get a good shot.”
Kinnamon said the time off couldn’t have come at a better time. When the Bullpups defeated Andale, it was the fourth grueling game in six days and moved their record to 13-0.
“It was good to have a time to get healthy but, amazingly, we are still not there health- wise,” said Kinnamon, whose team is still battling some sickness. “We cannot let rust be an excuse or a factor. It’s time for the stretch run.”
A positive is that Avery Gabel, who had 14 points in the McPherson Invitational championship game against Manhattan but had to sit out the Andale game, is expected back. He had been suffering from a foot injury that’s had time to heal.
After Friday, the Bullpups have six games remaining, but only two of them at home. They are 6-0 in Division III and don’t play another AVCTL team until Feb. 13 when they host Rose Hill.