The McPherson High School girls basketball team was just too much to handle for Buhler High School as the Lady Pups won 80-36. The Lady Pups will move on to the Class 4A Sub-State finals to face Ulysses High School at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Buhler got a quick start but couldn’t keep up with McPherson’s explosive offense. Six Lady Pups scored in double figures. Sharing the ball also came into factor as the McPherson recorded 24 assists the entire night.

Taylor Robertson, who had eight points in the first half, came into a groove late in the third quarter.

It started off on a fastbreak steal when the Oklahoma commit did a behind-the-back pass to Emma Ruddle, which would result in an and-1 layup.

“She (Ruddle) was just on the break, the defender came toward me and I was just too far under so I just scooped behind it,” Robertson said.

Next possession, Robertson would get fouled after shooting a 3-point basket. It resulted in a 4-point play for the senior. She finished the night tied with 14 points.

“We had some great passes in the second half. The girls were enjoying each other as they should and it’s just good to see them make extra passes,”  Lady Pups head coach Chris Strathman said.

The Crusaders, loaded with freshmen and sophomores on the roster, have been outscored by the Lady Pups 211-87 in all three of their meetings. The Lady Pups are 4-1 all-time against Buhler in the sub-state games. Compared to the last two matchups, Strathman sees an improved and more prepared team than in the last two games they played.

“They were sharp offensively. They did a much better job handling our press in the first half and made some easy buckets against it, in which they never did at Buhler. They were definitely prepared and did a good job competing tonight. They have a good future ahead,” Strathman said.

No player for Buhler was in double-figures Thursday night. It was a defensive effort for McPherson, yet McPherson still credits the young team for fighting until the end despite being outplayed.

“I think with Buhler, they fight with us. They play defense and they don’t give up. We like playing them because they are not that team that would just give up at the very end. Playing them at our hardest sets us up for next year,” Mandi Cooks said.

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