|
|
|
McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • McPherson advances to semis with 70-34 blowout

  • The McPherson girls started the Class 4A state tournament the same way they started sub-state a week ago, with a blowout win over their first round opponent.
    • email print
  • The McPherson girls started the Class 4A state tournament the same way they started sub-state a week ago, with a blowout win over their first round opponent.
    McPherson (21-3) almost made it look too easy in three out of the four quarters of a 70-34 win against Labette County High School (15-8) at the Salina Bicentennial Center, especially during a 21-6 first quarter, which was spurred by an 11-point performance by senior point guard Hailey Ruder, who went 2-for-3 from distance and 5-of-6 from the foul line in the quarter.
    "(Ruder) was very relaxed," MHS coach Chris Strathman said. "Offensively, she was flowing in a rhythm and didn't rush anything."
    Unfortunately, McPherson couldn't hold onto the momentum in the second quarter, only managing six points in eight minutes of play while Labette County went on a 7-1 run. Still, the Pups held onto a 27-13 lead at the half.
    "We got really stagnant," Strathman said of that second quarter. "We were slow coming off screens, we weren't setting very good screens. And (Labette County) picked up their intensity too, so give them credit for that."
    The third quarter saw McPherson up their own intensity, blitzing the Grizzlies from the start of play both offensively and defensively. They went on a 7-1 run in the final three minutes of the quarter, kicked off by the third of junior Abby Pedersen's four three pointers at the 2:41 mark.
    Pedersen added her fourth long-ball barely a minute into the final quarter to push the Bullpup lead to 25 points, which was followed not long after by a three-point shot from junior Janae Barnes and a pair from junior Brooke Bate.
    In all, MHS went 11-of-19 from behind the arc for the ballgame.
    "Three point shots come and go, but I'll take 11-for-19 any day," Strathman said. "But I noticed at halftime we were 5-of-10 from three and 2-for-9 from two. That's not good, so we've got to do a better job of getting the ball inside and finishing there."
    Pedersen finished with 19 points, followed by Ruder with 14 and senior Katelyn Loecker's 12. Loecker was a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line and the Pups, as a whole, shot 74 percent.
    McPherson will face Paola in the semifinals tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Bicentennial Center. The Panthers advanced Thursday with a 55-38 win over Tonganoxie.
    "Paola is going to be a different team," Strathman said. "They'll trap a lot and things like that. It should be a good game."
    On the other side of the bracket, today's 3 p.m. game will see Fort Scott (18-5) take on the tournament No. 1 seed, Wamego (22-1).
    The Red Raiders handled Pratt in the opening game Thursday as expected, winning 54-36 to set up the semifinal showdown with Fort Scott. Tigers advanced by virtue of a 45-36 win over Clearwater.
      • calendar