For the 21st time in 24 years, the McPherson High School girls basketball team is AVCTL regular season champions, as the ‘Pups ran away from Circle, 61-31, in the Roundhouse on Friday.
Since moving down from AVCTL Division II to Division III, the Lady Bullpups are now 57-1 in league games and finish off the regular season with a 16-game winning streak.
The T-Birds kept it close for the first quarter of play, trailing McPherson by just two at 12-10, before the Lady Bullpups took an 18-8 advantage during the second period to take a 30-18 lead into the halftime break. After halftime, it was all McPherson as the Lady ‘Pups outscored Circle 31-13 in the final two quarters to take the commanding 30-point victory.
“It was a fun night overall for our two seniors, Taylor (Robertson) and Mandi (Cooks),” noted Lady Bullpup head coach Chris Strathman. “Circle is a good team and we played a bit sloppy in the first half, but then our defense was able to make their top players get frustrated in the second half.”
That defense Strathman mentioned, they caused 22 T-Bird turnovers which the Lady Bullpups turned into 26 points, while Circle only scored six points off McPherson turnovers. It also helps when the Lady Bullpup offense tallies 15 assists with just 22 field goals made, while shooting 54 percent from the field and 46 percent from the 3-point arc.
As so many times in her four-year career, Robertson led McPherson with 25 points, which included five made 3-pointers. Cooks and Hannah Hageman both just missed double digits with nine points, with Hageman scoring hers with three 3-pointers.
When asked about his two NCAA Division I bound seniors, Strathman replied, “I am very thankful to have not one, but two players of their quality. Both Taylor and Mandi make our school proud because of not only the way they perform on the court, but also by how they conduct themselves and business off the court as well.”
The Lady Bullpups will now take a 18-1 record into sub-state next Thursday when they play Buhler, with the winner to play for a berth at state on Saturday against the winner of the matchup between Hays and Ulysses.
For the 77th straight time in four seasons, the Lady Bullpup junior varsity team claimed a victory, as they closed out a 15-0 season with a 57-19 drubbing of Circle. Andrea Sweat was the lone scorer in double digits as she dropped in 13 for the game.
Also closing out their season undefeated was the ‘C’ team ladies as they ran away from Circle with a 58-27 win. Kassidy Beam led the offense with 17 points, while Emma Malm and Kenzee Godwin each hit double digits as well with 15 and 14 points respectively.