McPherson High School head coach Chris Strathman wasn’t thinking about a running clock after the first quarter against Augusta.
Augusta jumped out early before the Bullpups answered back to take a six point lead after one. The following three quarters saw McPherson take control, as a running clock was implemented the final five minutes of the fourth quarter in a 64-34 McPherson win Tuesday night at the Roundhouse.
For the Bullpups, Augusta marked the second of four consecutive matchups with ranked opponents. With big wins over fourth-ranked Circle and now ninth-ranked Augusta, the Bullpups are now 5-0 in Ark Valley Chisholm Trail Division III play through the first round of the league schedule.
“I thought our defensive effort was better in the second half,” Strathman said. “Any time you get six to eight easy baskets, it really deflates the other team and lifts us up.”
August played better than the score would indicate. But the Orioles committed 21 turnovers compared to just four for the Bullpups, which Augusta head coach Tracy Anderson said made all the difference.
“Turnovers were an emphasis coming in, but they’re really good at what they do,” Anderson said. “That dug us a hole, but I thought in the half court set we did a good job defensively, but we just gave them way too many easy points.”
The Bullpups took a 15-9 lead into the second quarter and led by 13 at halftime. The third quarter was ultimately the dagger, with McPherson holding a 21-8 advantage.
McPherson would go on to win the game by 30 as the starters were out of the game with plenty of time to spare.
Strathman highlighted the performances of Andrea Sweat, who came off the bench to score 11 points and three steals, and Lakyn Schieferecke, who played the game with a mask due to a broken nose suffered Monday in practice.
“I thought that was Andrea’s best game overall; a lot of kids played well, but she really had a breakout game tonight, and hopefully that gives her some confidence because we need her to be a player and she has the potential,” Strathman said. “Lakyn managed the game and did what she could. It takes toughness to want to play and be willing to take contact, which fortunately didn’t happen.”
Taylor Robertson led all scorers with 24 points on 11 of 15 shooting. Abbee Rhodes led Augusta with 12 points.
The Bullpups are now 8-1 on the season and travel to always tough Andale on Friday.
“Mandi [Cooks] and Taylor’s freshman year we went down there and got beat in overtime, so we’d love to get a win on their floor,” Strathman said.
Game time in Andale is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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