The Hy-Vee Shootout hasn’t been kind to the McPherson High School girls.
The Hy-Vee Shootout hasn’t been kind to the McPherson High School girls. Last year, it was a somewhat uninspiring loss to Blue Springs (Mo.). Friday night, however, the Bullpups came up short in an overtime thriller to St. Teresa’s Academy 52-45. “They out-played us tonight,” MHS coach Chris Strathman said of the Stars. “You know, on film, we liked the match ups. Obviously, we shoot the ball a little better, we win, but you can say that a lot of nights. We just needed to get it done on the defensive end.” McPherson had their opportunity to win the game, as they were up 41-38 with under a minute to play. Madison Hoffman and Janae Barnes both missed the front halves of 1-and-1s that could have put the game on ice for the Pups. That gave St. Teresa sophomore Ryan Wilkins an opportunity to bury a step-back three pointer to tie the game up at 41-41 with 17 seconds left to go. Abby Pedersen tried to make something happen on the Bullpup half of the court, but was rejected, sending the game into overtime. Wilkins continued her outstanding second-half play in the extra period, notching seven of her game-high 18 points, all of which came in the second half. McPherson only managed four points in the extra period; a pair of free throws from Ally Uslaker and a bucket by Pedersen as McPherson just couldn’t see to match the aggression of the Stars. “They wee the more aggressive team and that’s why they had 16 mor e free throw attempts than we did,” Strathman said. “That’s where the game was won and that’s kind of where we lost it, by not being aggressive enough defensively. The Pups were 7-of-13 from the foul line, while St. Teresa was 19-for-29. Overall, McPherson (1-3) was 16-for-52 from the field, while the Stars (1-1) were 14-of-31. MHS had been up 20-19 at the half, but Wilkins started working her magic in the third quarter, giving St. Teresa an eight point advantage at one juncture. Bullpup sophomore Ashtyn Schieferecke, though, helped trigger a McPherson comeback that saw McPherson down only 35-32 at the start of the fourth quarter. Barnes managed to get the game tied and then tilted it in McPherson’s favor, with around two minutes left in the ball game, but Wilkins was not to be denied, as she hit her three to send it into overtime. Pedersen finished with 14 points to lead McPherson, the only Bullpup in double figures, though Hannah Willems was just shy after sinking a trio of three-point buckets. Grace Kitts had 13 for St. Teresa’s Academy (1-1). The Stars won despite still reeling from the Dec. 9 death of Rebecca Lueke, who was killed in a collision with a semi on Interstate Highway 435 after she slid on ice. Lueke, who had graduated from St. Teresa’s in May, was the team captain last year and her younger sister, Elenore, started for the Stars Friday against McPherson. Contact Chris Swick by email at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @SwickSentinel.