AUGUSTA — A lot of times in basketball, the best strategy is simply to ride the hot hand.
McPherson’s Mason Alexander was on fire from downtown in the Bullpups’ road contest against Augusta’s boys basketball team Tuesday night. After a layup by Augusta’s Zac Burton cut the Bullpups’ lead to 21-14 in the second quarter, Alexander buried a whopping four 3-pointers as McPherson surge ahead 35-16. The Pups dominated the rest of the game to the tune of a 68-38 blowout.
Alexander’s 3s weren’t always wide open, either. He had a hand in his face on a couple of shots, but he was unfazed. Late in the quarter, the Orioles thought they timed his shot for a block, but Alexander kept his dribble and sliced his way in the paint for an and-1 shot, though he missed the free throw on the back end. Still, Alexander couldn’t be slowed down as he finished with a game-high 27 points, which included six 3-point field goals.
Before he took over the game, though, the Orioles didn’t make things comfortable for the Pups. Zac Burton his a 3-pointer to get the Orioles’ offense going. Jonny Clausing used all of his 6-foot-8 frame to get a basket inside on a pass from Jayden Reynolds, then on a putback on the offensive glass to make it 10-9 Mac late in the first quarter. Ben Pyle closed the quarter with a 3-pointer and dunk on a sweet lob pass from Alexander for a 15-10 Mac lead.
Zach Barclay and Burton both scored on layups inside to keep the Orioles in it midway through the second quarter before Alexander caught fire.
Pyle and Alexander hit two straight 3s for a 49-23 lead that fended off a mini-spurt by the Orioles in the third quarter. The game wasn’t close after that.
Pyle finished with 19 points. Jake Alexander hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. Jayse Alexander even hit a 3-pointer for his three points in the game. McPherson finished with a whopping 13 3-pointers.
Burton scored 14 points while Clausing added 10 as they were the only Orioles to score in double figures.
McPherson actually finished with more turnovers than Augusta (11-8). Neither team scored much in the way of second-chance points.