The McPherson High School girls basketball team had a magical ending last season when they won state against Bishop Miege High School in overtime. This season, the Lady Pups lost two of their star players in Taylor Robertson, now at Oklahoma, and Mandi Cooks, who is now at UTSA. Good thing for head coach Christ Strathman, everyone else is back.

"We will be a more balanced scoring team, as we do have several girls that are capable of leading us in scoring on any given night," Strathman said. "The girls will have to step up their games collectively to make up for what those two outstanding players provided for us last year."

The Lady Pups returned four starting seniors. Riley Hett could be the player to watch as she could be one of the Bullpups' top shooter on the team. They also will have the size advantage inside the paint with Cassie Cooks, Maggie Leaf, and Andrea Sweat, who has been recovering with a foot injury that kept her out for quite some time. The Lady Pups being 10-girls deep, Strathman is confident that his Bullpups will make another state run this season, knowing that each of his players is capable of putting up double-digit points every night.

"We will have some very tough decisions to make as far as personnel, starting lineups, etc. Some of the girls are very interchangeable but also bring their own unique strengths to the floor," Strathman said. "That should make for some very competitive practices as there will be some excellent battles for playing time at certain spots."

What's new for the Bullpups is that this will be their first season as a 5A team, and will take on some quality opponents, including another year of the Mid-America Classic.

"We will have a loaded non-league schedule, which should prepare us well for our post-season. Our non-league schedule is filled with teams that will be very good tests, including both Andover teams, Derby, Newton, Andale, and Baldwin in particular," Strathman said. "We could also see teams like Olathe South and Manhattan at our Mid-America Classic."

"In league play, I really think Circle is going to be outstanding this season.  They return a lot of scoring and rebounding from last year’s team, and have a couple of talented newcomers.  Augusta will also be strong this year as they return their top players in Jaden Marlnee and Abbee Rhoades. Those two really led them to a great finish last year in qualifying for the state tournament."

Opening night for McPherson will on the road against Andover on Nov.30 at 6 p.m. Their home opener will be against Andover Central next Tuesday, on Dec.4 at 6 p.m.

Date Opponent Home/Away

11/30 at Andover

12/4 vs Andover Central

12/7 at Derby

12/11 vs Buhler

12/14 vs Winfield

12/20 at Dodge City

1/4 vs Circle

1/8 at Augusta

1/11 vs El Dorado

1/24 Mid-America Classic

1/25 Mid-America Classic

1/26 Mid-America Classic

1/29 vs Wichita Collegiate

2/1 at Andale

2/5 at El Dorado

2/8 at Winfield

2/12 vs Buhler

2/15 at Circle

2/16 Baldwin at Law. Free State (Neutral)

2/19 vs Augusta

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