It’s been said that adversity introduces a man to himself.
If that’s the case, then the McPherson High School Lady Bullpups found out who they were Friday evening against Missouri Class 5A power Blue Springs at the HyVee Classic, as they fell 39-26.
It’s been said that adversity introduces a man to himself. If that’s the case, then the McPherson High School Lady Bullpups found out who they were Friday evening against Missouri Class 5A power Blue Springs at the HyVee Classic, as they fell 39-26. It was a battle from buzzer to buzzer between the two teams, as the Wildcats brought a physical style of play the Bullpups hadn’t quite seen yet this season, forcing both teams to step up their defensive efforts. McPherson only managed a pair of buckets in the first quarter, a free throw from Hailey Ruder and a turnaround jumper from Katelyn Loecker, and found themselves trailing 8-3 at the end of the period. Blue Springs ramped up the physicality in the second quarter, as the talented Wildcat duo of Lizzy Wendell and Karlyla Middlebrook began working their flow against the Bullpups, leading Blue Springs to a 16-9 halftime lead. Both Middlebrook and Wendell are D-I signees, with Middlebrook heading to Texas Tech in the fall and Wendell to Drake. Free throws really made the difference in the contest, as McPherson was only 2-of-12 from the field in the first half and an astonishing 5-of-33 for the game. Defensively, the Bullpups held the Wildcats to only seven field goals, which was a bright spot for McPherson coach Chris Strathman. “Defensively, we did what we tried to work on in practice,” Strathman said. “Offensively, we just really struggled to put the ball in the hole. Sometimes you are able to overcome that and we just weren’t able to.” Offensively, Loecker was McPherson’s top performer, with 11 points, eight rebounds, an assist and a block. Janae Barnes picked up eight rebounds, as well for MHS. Wendell picked up a double double for the Wildcats, with a game-leading 20 points and 11 rebounds. Middlebrook was the only other player in double digits with 12 points. “We’ve got to do a better job of executing our offense,” Strathman said. “We also need to do a better job of being tough and setting screens and just being in synch.” McPherson will finish out 2012 on the road, as they travel to Buhler Tuesday night and then Hutchinson Thursday night. McPherson — Pyle 1 0-0 3; Ruder 0 5-6 5; Barnes 0 3-8 3; Loecker 3 4-6 11; Willems 1 1-2 4. Blue Springs — Wendell 3 13-14 20; Middlebrook 2 7-10 12; Hensley 1 2-4 4; Panuco 1 0-2 3.