It is unusual for a junior varsity team to receive recognition, but after winning their 77th straight game, the McPherson High School girls junior varsity basketball team has earned it. The JV Lady Pups finished the season 15-0 and were awarded as the Great Plains Federal Credit Union Team of the Week, as presented by the McPherson Sentinel.

The Lady Pups last loss trails back to two seasons ago. Since then, they have been undefeated all year around. With a 39 point margin of victory, it is believed for the JV head coach Mike Rieth that this season has been the best team he has encountered in his 12-year span.

“It’s a great accomplishment. The girls were just tremendous by playing hard, being coachable and just giving a lot of effort. I also want to tell them to enjoy being teammates and playing hard with each other,” Rieth said.

It’s no surprise to find talented basketball players in McPherson and the community has placed a long-term investment in these players.

“Everything about it is starting when their young and coming up through the system, our camps, and all kind of the things.

Also coming to the games and watching what’s going on with the older players and admiring them. They get to this point and know that what we expect is to play hard and do things the right way once you have the McPherson uniform on, it means something special,” Rieth said.

With 14 freshmen and sophomores making up the team, the JV Lady Pups know what it takes to compete at a high level, just like their varsity peers. Both teams practice together every day with a similar game plan against other teams. Some of the players will be called on to suit up on varsity for depth purposes.

Rieth didn’t say in particular of which of his players could be the next varsity McPherson great, but both Taylor Robertson and Mandi Cooks will graduate soon and leave room for new talent.

“What we have in the girls are good qualities. You offer something special and they contribute to the team. Any of them can contribute in their own way. There will come times that some get more playing time, but all of them are important. Every single one of those girls, even if they don’t step onto the court on varsity, will have an impact on the team,” Rieth said. 

Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_