The second-ranked McPherson High School girls basketball team opened the season short handed against Andover Friday night at the Roundhouse.
The Bullpups were without seniors Lakyn Shieferecke and Emma Ruddle, who are both out indefinitely with injuries. Junior Grace Pyle and the rest of the Bullpups did not miss a beat, as McPherson opened the season with a dominating 62-20 win.
Pyle was two assists shy of a triple double, finishing with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. She was one of four Bullpups who finished with double-digit points, joining senior Andrea Sweat (10), senior Cassie Cooks (12), and junior Kassidy Beam, who had a game-high 17 points.
“We told the girls after the game that we really couldn’t have scripted tonight to have gone any better,” head coach Chris Strathman said. “We passed the ball, we shared the ball, we got some easy looks off our press. We had a really good start to the game, and then we weren’t really tested.”
The game was over early as the Bullpups opened the game on a 14-0 run and never looked back. The Bullpups led 20-6 after the first quarter, then 36-10 at halftime. McPherson did all its damage in transition and inside paint, as a Beam 3-pointer with 6:55 in the second quarter was the team’s first triple of the young season.
For the game, McPherson shot 7 of 18 from beyond the arc (39 percent), but 21 of 41 overall (51 percent).
McPherson came out strong in the third quarter, outscoring Andover 21-8. With a running clock during the fourth, McPherson held a slight 5-2 edge.
Down two potential starters, McPherson was still able to come away with a convincing victory. Getting healthy will be a key as the Bullpups venture into the rest of their season.
“Two days ago we thought Emma [Ruddle] would be fine and that she would be playing with us, then all of a sudden she’s not,” Strathman said. “You never know, so we have to take advantage of every opportunity we have.”
The Bullpups hit the road for the first time on Tuesday at Andover Central.