Big Augusta rally sinks MHS boys

By Steve Sell
January 12, 2021

AUGUSTA – In the first half on Tuesday, McPherson High’s boys and Augusta were like two angry rams locking horns on the defensive end.

Every shot was challenged and open layups were an anomaly.

The Bullpups, playing with much more energy than Friday’s narrow win over Winfield, held Augusta to just 13 points in the first half as the Orioles were just 5 of 24 from the field and didn’t use their height advantage to the fullest. Still, it was just 21-13 as the Orioles weren’t giving an inch defensively, either.

MHS continued in lockdown mode in the third quarter, taking a 38-30 lead into the final period.

But that’s when Augusta’s offense emerged from the deep freeze.

The Orioles hit MHS with an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter and wound up outscoring the Bullpups 22-9 over the final 8 minutes for the come-from-behind 52-47 victory.

The Bullpups suffered only their third loss in their Division III history, two of them to Augusta. They are 3-1 in league play and close out the first round on Friday at Circle.

More concerning is the overall record is now 5-3 with a myriad of difficult games still to go, including three in the McPherson Invitational against much-bigger schools, not to mention games with Andover Central, Andale and Derby as the Bullpups need every win they can get for sub-state seeing purposes.

For three quarters, though, the Bullpups played as well as they had all year.

“After Friday’s game, we had to find ways to play faster,” said MHS assistant coach Dustan Kanitz, filling in for head coach Kurt Kinnamon as he’s still in quarantine. “We’ve got guys who can just run up and down the floor and we’ve got to get opportunities for guys to use the talents they have. You could see in the first half. We had guys getting it to the rim. I thought it was one of the best halves we had played defensively. We got Augusta out of what their bread and butter was, but then they went to Plan B.”

And that was the 3-ball as Augusta made 5 of 9 after the halftime break.

Kanitz said he had to tip his cap to the O’s for figuring it out, especially Brenden Parker, who scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half. That matched the total of MHS’ Seth Madron as they were the only two players in double figures.

The JVs went down to defeat, 50-44. Freshman Cory Muehler scored 14 points

The freshmen boys, up by just a point at halftime, found their season-long form in the second half to win going away, 67-45. Muehler again led the Bullpups with 14 points and Owen Pyle furnished 13.

MHS (47) – Buckbee 1-1, 0-0, 2; E. Pyle 1-5, 0-0, 3; Dukes 3-7, 1-1, 7; Madron 10-21 1-3, 22; Elliott 1-1, 0-0, 2; Alexander 3-11, 0-0, 7; Gibbs 1-3, 2-2, 4; Miller 0-2, 0-0, 0. Totals – 20-51, 4-6, 47. 3-pointers – Madron 1, E. Pyle 1, Alexander 1.

Augusta (52) – Parker 8-16, 3-4, 22; Andrews 3-5, 0-0, 6; Burton 0-0, 1-2, 1; Schmidt 0-1, 0-0, 0; Hand 2-2, 2-2, 8; Roberts 3-5, 1-2, 9; McDaniel 1-9, 2-5, 4; Wilcox 1-4, 0-0, 2. Totals – 18-42, 9-15, 52. 3-pointers – Parker 3, Hand 2, Roberts 2.


MHS JV (44) – Buckbee 5, O. Pyle 6, Myers 7, Becker 4, Ediger 2, Muehler 13, Hill 2, Gibbs 5.


MHS 9th  (67) –O. Pyle 13, Robertson 8, Thompson 6, Boese 6, Wedel 4, Jav. Alexander 8, Muehler 14, Schriner 8.