By Gallagher Martin
McPherson junior Grace Pyle outscored Buhler by herself at halftime as the Bullpups blew past their rival 62-35 Tuesday night at the Roundhouse.
Pyle had 19 points at halftime and finished with a career-high 27. Junior Kassidy Beam also had a big night, finishing with 13 points. Senior Cassie Cooks helped hold Buhler star Alyvia Owens to 12 points on 5 of 21 shooting.
The Bullpups continued to play without three potential senior starters. While Andrea Sweat is out for the season, the team is optimistic that they will have Lakyn Schieferecke back in January, and Emma Ruddle is looking at a possible February return.
McPherson continues to receive huge contributions from juniors and sophomores in the meantime.
“Our kids came in off the bench and did their job,” McPherson head coach Chris Strathman said.
Pyle and Beam were active early. Back to back 3s from the duo gave McPherson a 13-3 lead which forced a Buhler timeout. The Crusaders went on a small 4-0 run, which was answered by a 5-0 McPherson run to close the first quarter.
An 11-point lead quickly became a 20-point lead as Pyle begin the second quarter by knocking down three consecutive triples.
The Bullpups were hardly done in the second. Emma Malm beat the buzzer with a layup, sending the Bullpups into halftime with a 44-13 lead.
Pyle knocked down a couple more 3-pointers in the third for good measure, and the fourth quarter consisted of a running clock.
McPherson is now 4-0, 1-0 in league, and travels to league-foe Winfield on Friday before heading to Christmas break.
“I wasn’t worried about a letdown tonight because we were at home and it’s Buhler,” Strathman said. “Friday night will be a concern because of the long road trip and it’s on the road.”