The awards and honors keep on coming for the McPherson High School basketball program. The Kansas Basketball Coaches Association named girl’s basketball coach Chris Strathman as Kansas Girls Coach of the Year on Tuesday.
The Lady Pups had a remarkable season, finishing the year 23-1, taking first place in the Mid-American Classic and winning the Class 4A Division I State Championship over Bishop Miege High School — a team that gave the Lady Pups their only loss earlier in the season.
"Any coaching award like this is an honor and this one is very much appreciated. This Coach of the Year award was given out by fellow coaches and that means a lot to me. We don't get these honors as head coaches without having an outstanding coaching staff and I definitely have that in Mike Reith, Tim Ellet, and Shelly Prescott. This was our seventh year together as a staff and we have now been able to take part in four state championship games, going 2-2 with wins over Holton and Bishop Miege," Strathman said.
While giving credit to his coaching staff, Strathman also credits his players for dominating every game and playing lights-out basketball. As a result, several members of the team received all-state and all-county honors, along with Taylor Robertson, who recently been named Miss Kansas Basketball.
"Our players are the ones that really make things happen though as they are the ones that have to go out and make plays under pressure. The coaching staff's job is to try to make sure we prepare them the best we can, but without the players performing, none of these coaching awards happen either. We were just very fortunate and blessed to be able to coach an awesome group of young ladies this season," Strathman said.
In his 13-year career with McPherson, Strathman has led his girls to three state titles.
The KBCA All-Star Team was announced on Tuesday for each class. Nine players for both girls and boys are from the McPherson County. Six Bullpups, including Robertson and Ben Pyle, who are this year's Mr. and Miss Kansas Basketball, headline the selection.
Here are the players from McPherson County who were selected:
Class 4A Division I Boys
First Team: Ben Pyle, McPherson High School; Mason Alexander, McPherson High School
Honorable Mention: Jake Alexander, McPherson High School
Class 4A Division I Girls
First Team: Taylor Robertson, McPherson High School
Second Team: Mandi Cooks, McPherson High School; Riley Hett, McPherson High School
Class 4A Division II Boys
Second Team: Nick Reinert, Smoky Valley High School
Class 2A Girls
Second Team: Bethany Stucky, Moundridge High School
Class 1A Division II Boys
First Team: Tyler Thiessen, Elyria Christian High School
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