The McPherson High boys were looking to get back on track Tuesday night following a disappointing turn in the HyVee Shootout in Kansas City over the weekend.
Unfortunately for Buhler, they happened to be the opponents for a determined Bullpups squad, who handily defeated the Crusaders 62-31 in an AVCTL Division III match up.
MHS and Buhler were close throughout the first half, as the Pups finally managed to put some cushion in the score at about the midway point of the first quarter, thanks to a couple of timely steals from Kyler Kinnamon and a big three pointer from Peter Horton.
The Crusaders were down 14-9 to start the second quarter and came out with some fire, rattling off a 6-0 run on McPherson to give Buhler a 15-14 lead with 5:49 left in the period. Marcus Houghton finally gave McPherson back the lead with a hard fought basket, which triggered a 7-0 run for the Bullpups. Buhler would get a big three pointer to keep it close at 28-20 MHS at the half.
The Pups started the second half by jumping on Buhler quickly, blitzing the Crusaders with a 16-5 run throughout the third period that Buhler never recovered from.
MHS kept the onslaught going into the fourth quarter, kicking off the period with a 10-0 run on its way to the 62-31 win.
Kinnamon put up 22 points to lead all scorers in the game. Keaton Sorenson added 11 and Peter Horton had 10 for the Pups, who had eight players total score in the win.
MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon credited his bench with helping the Pups to improve to 4-1 on the season. Kinnamon did say, though, confidence seems to be a continuing issue with his Bullpups.
“We have one guy on our team that thinks he's good,” Kinnamon said. “We've got a bunch of really good players, but, for some reason, they don't believe they're good. I believe they are good but sometimes they play scared. Why would you play scared when you are as talented as some of our kids are?”
Kinnamon did say he thought the Pups showed more confidence in the second half.
“Confidence in high school kids is so predicated on making or missing shots,” he said. “We shot so poorly in Kansas City (against Liberty North), and I think that's still in our heads.”
The McPherson JV squad also was victorious Tuesday night, rolling to a 53-28 win over the Crusaders' JV team. Freshman Drew Pyle led the way with 16 points, while Nathan Nutter and Keshawn Sewell both had eight for the Pups.
McPherson wraps up 2012 with a road trip tomorrow against Hutchinson. Tip off will be around 7:30 p.m. after the conclusion of the girls' contest.
Page 2 of 2 - McPherson — Houghton 3-10 0-4 6; Sorenson 5-8 1-3 11; Kinnamon 7-10 7-7 22; Horton, R. 2-6 0-0 5; Horton P. 4-12 1-3 10; Wine 1-1 0-0 2; Nutter 1-2 0-0 2; Sewell 0-1 4-6 4.
Buhler — Felty 1-4 0-0 2; Maldonado 3-6 1-2 9; Anderson 1-1 1-3 3; Norquist 0-2 1-2 1; Berblinger 2-2 1-2 5; Keeler 2-9 0-0 4; Williams 3-8 1-2 7.