On a night when MHS coaching legend Mike Henson was enshrined along the Roundhouse Wall of Fame, the Bullpups defeated Washburn Rural 70-54, but the game was a lot closer than the score indicates.
MHS jumped on the Junior Blues quickly in the first quarter, using a 12-2 run about halfway through the period to outdistance Washburn Rural 23-6 at the end of the period.
The second period, however, things fell apart for the Bullpups, as Washburn became more aggressive and attacked MHS, despite losing senior starter Riley Landuyt to an ankle injury early in the quarter. The Junior Blues would rip off a 13-2 run helped by junior Michael Singer, who came off the bench and played the game of his life in the absence of Landuyt. Singer ripped off a pair of three pointers late in the quarter that pulled Washburn to within two, before Kyler Kinnamon would respond with a bucket of his own and letting McPherson go into the locker room with a 31-25 lead.
“We didn’t guard,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said of the second quarter. “We refused to leave our feet, we refused to help, we refused to take the basketball off the bounce. Those are all things that are just a mind set that we’re going to have to get better at.”
McPherson (2-0) would build up it’s lead again in the third quarter, thanks in part to the sharp shooting of Ryan and Peter Horton. Ryan Horton finished the game with three triples, while Peter Horton added one of his own in the third quarter.
The Junior Blues (2-1) refused to go away, though, and trailed only 43-39 heading into the final quarter, where the Bullpups put on the afterburners and ripped off 27 points in the frame to put the game out of reach.
Keaton Sorenson led all scorers with 18 points, followed by Singer and Washburn teammate Reed Rowell, who both ended the game with 17. Kyler Kinnamon added 15 points for McPherson, followed by Marcus Houghton with 14 and Ryan Horton’s 12.
After the game, Kinnamon stated the Bullpups weren’t happy with the win.
“We have to play better,” Kinnamon said. “And the kids know that and they’re not happy with the way they played.”
Despite the issues, Kinnamon was happy with the way his players didn’t quit when the Junior Blues started battling back.
“Games like that are much better than games where you win by 30 or 40 points,” Kinnamon said. “It’s a good learning experience against a strong 6A team. And we can only get better.”
McPherson is on the road Tuesday night as they face Mulvane. Tip off is at 7:30 p.m.
McPherson — Houghton 6-8 1-4 14; Stos 1-2 0-0 2; Sorenson 6-12 6-7 18; Kinnamon 3-8 9-10 15; Horton, R. 3-5 3-4 12; Horton, P. 3-5 0-1 7; Sewell 1-1 0-2 2.
Page 2 of 2 - Washburn Rural — Singer 7-7 0-0 17; Runau 3-4 0-0 6; Perry 2-5 2-2 6; Landuyt 2-2 0-0 4; Rowell 6-19 5-8 17.