Bullpup girls grind past Hutch

By Steve Sell
February 20, 2015
File-Kendall Shaw

HUTCHINSON — This was just the type of rugged, grind-it-out game the McPherson High girls needed.

After white-collar wins over Rose Hill and El Dorado, the Bullpups rolled up their sleeves and blue-collared their way to a 46-36 victory over Hutchinson in a battle of state-ranked teams at the Salthawk Activity Center.

MHS' constant doubling on defense caused Hutchinson some problems, forcing the Salthawks into a woeful 12-of-38 night from the field.

On the other end, the Bullpups' dynamic freshman duo of Taylor Robertson and Mandi Cooks continued their recent prolific scoring as they put up 15 and 13 points, respectively — Robertson doing it from the outside by making three 3-pointers, while Cooks was 5 of 6 from the field as she worked the two-person game well with Madison Hoffman, who picked up some key assists.

"It was a physical battle and that's the way Hutch likes to play," said MHS coach Chris Strathman, whose No. 3-ranked team (4A Division I) takes a 14-4 record into the final week of the season with all four losses to ranked teams. "As you work your way toward postseason, it becomes more and more of a halfcourt game. So for us to come out with a win tonight against a Top 7 team I believe in 6A right now on their floor, I thought we showed a lot of grit and desire and I was really proud of them for that."

Jenna Higgins, who was coming off a 17-point game with five 3-pointers, was as good as advertised for Hutch with four 3-pointers and 16 points overall. But she got precious little help as rest of the 'Hawks were 8 of 29 and scored 20 points.

The Bullpups were up 22-13 late in the first half before Hutch scored the final seven points to pull within 22-20 at recess. But MHS started fast in the second half and this time Hutchinson had no answer.

The MHS JVs blazed to a 56-27 victory behind 17 points by Emma Yowell, and 10 apiece by Paige Schmidt and Mandi Cooks.

The C-girls, after scoring 66 points on Thursday in the semifinals of the Newton Invitational, were held to 30 as they lost a two-point decision. Rylee Schrader’s 11 points topped the Bullpups. They are scheduled to play for the championship of the Newton Invitational at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against Derby.

The Bullpups stay on the road for a third straight game Tuesday as they play at Augusta before closing out at home against arch-rival Buhler in a game that will have huge ramifications for the league and sub-state.

MHS (46) — Schmidt 1-1, 0-0, 2; Wedel 1-3, 1-2, 3; Collins 1-1, 0-0, 2; Yowell 0-1, 0-0, 0; Hoffman 1-2, 2-4, 4; Schieferecke 0-1, 3-4, 3; Ulsaker 1-3, 0-0, 2; Robertson 4-8, 4-4, 15; M. Cooks 5-6, 3-5, 13; B. Cooks 1-3, 0-0, 2. Totals — 16-31, 13-19, 46. 3-pointers — Robertson 3.

Hutchinson (36) — Higgins 4-9, 4-6, 16; DeGarmo 2-14, 0-0, 5; Downing 2-5, 0-0, 5; Wessel 1-3, 0-2, 2; Calvillo 2-4, 0-0, 4; Hazell 1-3, 2-2, 4; Martin 0-0, 0-2, 0. Totals — 12-38, 6-12, 36. 3-pointers — Higgins 4, DeGarmo 1, Wessel 1.


MHS JV (56) — Schmidt 10, Yowell 17, Crist 2, Gabel 2, Ulsaker 7, Williams 2, M. Cooks 10, Collins 6.


MHS C (30) — Crist 1, Gabel 9, Williams 4, Schrader 11, M. Schmidt 5.