By Peter Holland Jr.

Sports Editor

Another night, another close game the McPherson High School boys basketball team didn't finish in the fourth quarter. As a result, Derby High School is the reason the Bullpups drop to 0-3 on the year.

McPherson started off strong taking a 9-3 lead. However, Derby rallied back with a 7-0 run of their own and their first lead to end the first quarter.

Turnovers and foul troubles have been a problem for the Panthers as they turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, giving the Bullpups opportunities to keep them in the game. Derby continued to make open look shots and only trailed 19-18 with less than three minutes in the second quarter.

Jake Alexander would hit a corner 3 to keep it a two-possession game. Derby responded with a 6-0 run in the third quarter. They took their first lead after another 3-pointer by Clayton Hood.

The Bullpups trailed 37-25 in the third quarter.

In the fourth, the Bullpups rallied back and kept it close. Max Alexander and Cody Stufflebean made last minute layups and got fouled, but missed their free throws afterward. The Bullpups only shot three 3s despite Alexander making a last second 3-pointer, time was up for McPherson.

It was one of three 3-pointers made for the Bullpups. They also only shot 28 percent from the floor overall.

"We need to be able to make a shot," Bullpups' head coach Kurt Kinnamon said. "So much of basketball comes down to making a shot. I though we took some not great shots. We need to be more patient."

Three Bullpups reached double figures. Jake and Max Alexander tied for 14 points apiece, and Stufflebean had 12 points. Seth Madron was their rebound leader with nine total for the Bullpups.

One of Kinnamon's biggest disappointments was recording five assists. Now with three games under their belt, Kinnamon will not excuse his players and expects them to finish their game as they continue to search for their first win

"I just felt like we did a lot of things well, we played hard and this team is gonna get better in January than they are right now," Kinnamon said. "It's time to take the training wheels off, and we got to start performing and start playing. The excuses of not knowing are stuff is over. At some point we have to say learn your stuff and get it."

McPherson will be on the road to take on their league rivals Buhler High School on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. They will return to the Roundhouse to take on Winfield High School on Friday.

Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports