HUTCHINSON—Both the seventh and eighth-grade McPherson Middle School girls basketball teams traveled to Hutchinson on Thursday and returned home with splits as both ‘A’ teams scored victories while both ‘B’ teams suffered losses.
Next up for both the seventh- and eighth-grade Lady Pup hoopsters will be on Tuesday, December 3 when they host Newton.
8th grade girls split with Hutchinson
While the eighth-grade Lady Pups split their two games with Hutchinson, it almost wasn’t so as the ‘A’ team hung on late to take a two-point, 32-30 overtime victory while the ‘B’ team suffered a 22-13 loss on the road Tuesday.
Down 22-15 at halftime, the ‘A’ team made some calculated adjustments in their defense during the break and held Hutchinson to zero points in the third quarter while McPherson took a one-point 23-22 lead going into the final quarter of action. With the score knotted at 28-28 at the end of regulation, the Lady Pups Head Coach TJ Jackson inserted three fresh bodies for the overtime and they pulled the game out with defense and a score in the final second of the overtime.
While no players reached double digits in the scorebook, seven Lady Pups put at least one bucket in their column, led by Kyla Lang and Alexis Dukes with eight points each.
“At the beginning of the game we were up and down in our execution and had to calm down a bit to get things together,” noted Head Coach Jackson. “Once they did we started running some of our set plays well, and our inbound plays were a huge piece of our scoring tonight. At half we asked the girls to make some adjustments defensively and told them to win this game it was going to happen on the defensive end. They needed to be patient because Hutchinson wasn’t phenomenal on offense, they were just taking advantage of some small mistakes we were making and had a size advantage.”
When talking about his players, Coach Jackson concluded his coach reflections be saying, “The part we are most proud of is the resolve these girls are starting to build. They have really banded together to count on everyone, and not just a single person driving everything. When things were tough you could just see there was no backing down. When they made mistakes, they hustled to do better on the other end. We tell the girls constantly that if they strengthen their mentality, they will be better and they have allowed themselves to grow in that aspect and it has impacted their game directly.”
In the eighth-grade ‘B’ game, the Lady Pups struggled a bit on offense and took a 22-13 loss. Five girls put points in, but none had more than four.
“Although we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, I was proud of how the girls played in this game,” noted ‘B’ team coach Ellie Wingert. “The girls fought hard the whole game and never gave up. They battled back to make it a much closer game and it’s fun to see different ladies stop up each game. They are continuing to improve and I’m proud of this group.”
7th grade girls win – Lose at Hutchinson
Like the eighth-grade team, the McPherson Middle School seventh-grade girls teams also split with Hutchinson on the road Thursday with the ‘A’ team gaining a solid victory while the ‘B’ team struggled in a loss.
Despite having trouble getting baskets to go in during the first half, the eighth-grade ‘A’ team pulled away in the second half to score a decisive 32-19 victory. Karter Alvord and Alex Romero both led the Lady Pups with double digits in the scorebook as Alvord hit for 14 and Romero added 11.
“Tonight was a game where we learned how to play through adversity,” noted Head Coach Kaleigh Huxman. “There was a lid on the basket for us in the first half, but the girls continued to fight and played hard the whole game. This group loves to steal the ball and does it often, but we have to learn how to be aggressive defensively without fouling. Overall, I am really proud of the girls for continuing to battle and for getting another win.”
In the seventh-grade ‘B’ game, the lid stayed on the basket for the whole game as the Lady Pups suffered an 18-6 defeat. Only two players scored in the game.
“I am so proud of this group who continues to get better every game,” said Coach Huxman. “They had some great looks tonight that just did not fall, but they never fall short in the amount of effort and hustle they put forth.”
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