If the first two games are any indication of how the McPherson boys’ basketball team’s season will go, the edge of the seat will be a popular place to be.
The Bullpups, for the second-straight game, held off a late comeback attempt, this time by Washburn Rural Friday night to win 63-55.
“I’m happy that we were able to finish the game out,” MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. “But unhappy that we didn’t finish the game out strong. When you’ve got an all-state point guard and he misses a layup and misses I don’t know how many free throws, that’s not good enough for me. It’s not. That being being said, I thought [Kyler Kinnamon] had a pretty good game.”
The junior point guard led all scorers with 23 points, including a trio of three-pointers, but shot 6-for-10 from the foul line. Kinnamon was 2-of-5 in the final minute of the game from the stripe.
While MHS had an outstanding effort from senior Peter Horton, who scored 13 points despite showing flu-like symptoms, it was the bench that really shined for the Bullpups (2-0).
“Avery Gabel gave us some outstanding lift off of the bench,” Kurt Kinnamon said. “Keshawn [Sewell]’s first half was better than Keshawn’s ever been. It was just an overall good team win.”
MHS was up by as much as 32-19 in the second quarter, which was helped along by first half three pointers from Kyler Kinnamon, Peter Horton, Nathan Nutter and Gabel. The Pups, though, hit a stretch where the Junior Blues outscored them 14-5 and trailed only 37-33 at the intermission.
Washburn Rural (0-2) then picked up huge back-to-back three pointers in the third quarter from Brayden White and Jake Michalski to keep McPherson from running away with the game. Chris Edwards hit a buzzer shot as time expired in the third to make it 48-46 MHS.
The Junior Blues would tie it at 48-48 with 7:20 left to play off a drive into the paint by Michael Singer. Horton would once again come through in the clutch for MHS, as he scored four straight points to give the Bullpups a four point advantage. Horton finished with 13 points for McPherson and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line.
Rural would get to within three points, thanks to Blake Peterson, but key turnovers forced by the McPherson defense and eight points down the stretch from Kyler Kinnamon preserved the MHS win.
“When the pressure came and the trap came,” Kurt Kinnamon said, “we did a good job of finding the open guy and passing the ball. We had a lot of easy baskets.”
The JV boys fell in their contest 51-40. The Freshmen also lost their game against Washburn Rural, though a score and stats for either game were unavailable at press time.
Page 2 of 2 - The Pups will next be at home on Tuesday, as they host Mulvane in the first league game of the season. Tip off from the Roundhouse will come at 7:30 p.m.