EL DORADO — For the better part of two quarters on Tuesday, Jordan Crawford — a McPherson High grad — had the game right where he wanted it for his El Dorado girls.
The Wildcats were staying within shouting distance of heavily favored McPherson High, but the Bullpups had a late point-burst to open up a 12-tally halftime lead before going on for a 69-29 rout.
MHS is now 7-1 in AVCTL Division III as it still has Buhler squarely in its sights for the league title and No. 1 sub-state seed. The Bullpups moved to 13-4 overall with three games left to play.
Whereas the Bullpups relied greatly on Taylor Robertson last Friday as she scored a school-record 41 points against Rose Hill, it was the other freshman who lit it up against the Wildcats.
Rapidly improving Mandi Cooks came off the bench to make 6 of 9 floor shots and all six of her free throws for 18 points in what was a balanced effort. Another sub, Kamryn Collins, excelled with 10 points, and Cassidy Wedel showed no effects from her neck injury that forced her to miss last Friday’s game as she also scored 10.
"We had real balanced scoring," MHS coach Chris Strathman said. "Mandi did a nice job of making her free throws… she did a good job of finishing inside. Camryn and Cassidy had 10 and we had a few others with eight and seven. So it was very balanced and a good performance."
Robertson scored only eight in her first game since breaking the record, but she really didn't look to shoot much, going 3 of 8. But she sparkled on the defensive end with numerous steals.
Collins' defense also drew praise as it seemed like she was either coming up with a steal or deflecting a pass.
"She's got very active hands and she can be a menace defensively when she's locked in and ready to go," Strathman said. "She just continues to improve."
The Bullpups had great ball movement, which led to a 25-of-46 shooting performance. MHS was just as good on the defensive end, limiting the Wildcats to just 11 of 32.
It was only 15-10 with 5 minutes to go in the first half when MHS took off on a 15-4 sizz to lead 30-14 at the break. The Bullpups then hit the Wildcats with a 16-2 third-quarter blitz.
Cooks followed up her big varsity game with 16 points in limited JV time as the Bullpups were short on numbers. That sparked MHS to a 58-20 rout. Emma Yowell added 11.
There was no C-game due to a lack of numbers for El Dorado.
The Bullpups, after a couple of easy games, step way up in competition Friday at Hutchinson.
MHS (69) — Schmidt 0-2, 0-0, 0; Yowell 1-4, 0-0, 3; Wedel 4-4, 2-4, 10; Collins 4-5, 2-5, 10; Hoffman 2-3, 3-4, 7; Schieferecke 3-6, 2-4, 8; Ulsaker 0-1, 1-2, 1; Robertson 3-8, 0-0, 8; M. Cooks 6-9, 6-6, 18; B. Cooks 2-4, 0-0, 4. Totals — 25-46, 16-25, 69. 3-pointers — Robertson 2, Yowell 1.
El Dorado (29) — Phillips 1-1, 0-0, 2; Smith 1-5, 0-0, 2; Olson 2-7, 3-4, 7; Howland 3-5, 0-1, 6; Reinhardt 1-4, 1-2, 3; Rowell 0-2, 0-0, 0; Ruff 3-8, 1-2, 9. Totals — 11-32, 5-9, 29. 3-pointers — Ruff 2.
MHS JV (58) — Yowell 11, Collins 6, Hein 6, Gabel 4, Ulsaker 6, Schrader 9, M. Cooks 16.