Of course, the big picture for the McPherson High boys basketball team is to get to state for a chance to win the Class 5A title.
But sometimes lost is the smaller picture, like winning the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division II title.
MHS, for the fifth year in a row, is the D-II champion and here Tuesday ran its winning streak against division opponents to 49 with a 59-34 victory.
MHS can make it 50 for 50 since dropping to D-II with a road win Friday at Arkansas City. The Bullpups already have the top sub-state seed wrapped up, as they are 18-1.
“It just dawned on me that it is the outright league championship,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said after the game. “That’s something to be proud of. We’re not as proud of the league championship as we are the streak of never having lost in Division II. That’s a pretty good accomplishment.”
Valley Center’s zone slowed the inevitable, as the Bullpups were sluggish early, even trailing 12-11 after a quarter.
They started the second quarter strong and a Jack Pyle 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer stretched the lead to 10, 28-18.
The knockout came early in the fourth quarter when the Bullpups unfurled a 14-0 push, spearheaded by Cody Cape’s seven points.
MHS was only 17 of 45 from the field, but was much better at the line, making 23 of 30. Christian Ulsaker led the Bullpups with 19 points, Pyle added 17 and Cape, off the bench, just missed doubles with nine.
Dylan McCullough, a dangerous offensive player, was held to 11, going just 2 of 9 from the field as he was the focus of the MHS defense.
The MHS JVs were a 40-23 winner behind 13 points by Cape, while the freshmen also won a low-scoring game, 35-23, as Ryan Horton and Dylan Stos tallied eight points apiece.
MHS will know Saturday who it will play in the first round of sub-state, either Topeka West or Newton. That game will be here Thursday.
MHS (59) -- Houghton 1 0-2 2; Moore 0 0-0 0; Spencer 0 1-2 1; Hart 2 1-2 5; Miller 0 0-0 0; Horton 0 0-0 0; Pyle 5 5-8 17; Hambley 1 0-0 2; Robinson 1 2-2 4; Sorenson 0 0-0 0; Cape 2 5-5 9; Ulsaker 5 9-9 19. Totals -- 17 23-30 59. 3-pointers -- Pyle 2.
Valley Center (34) -- Mayber 2 3-4 8; McCullough 2 7-7 11; Kingsland 1 2-2 5; Taylor 0 0-1 0; C. Williams 1 0-0 2; Newman 4 0-0 8. Totals -- 10 12-14 34. 3-pointers -- Mayber 1, Kingsland 1.
------
MHS JV (40) -- Houghton 1 4-4 6; Reber 1 0-0 2; Miller 2 0-0 4; Bahr 1 0-0 2; Sorenson 4 1-2 9; Clary 1 1-2 3; Cape 5 3-4 13; O’Bannon 0 1-3 1. Totals -- 15 10-15 40. 3-pointers -- None.
------
MHS frosh (35) -- Bray 1 0-1 2; R. Horton 3 0-0 8; Porter 2 3-3 7; Stos 3 0-0 8; Harvey 1 0-0 2; Zeitlow 1 0-2 2; Ronsee 1 1-1 3; Schrag 1 0-0 2; Sewell 0 1-2 1. Totals -- 13 5-9 35. 3-pointers -- R. Horton 2, Stos 2.