NEWTON—On Monday the McPherson Middle School boys seventh and eighth grade basketball teams traveled to Newton and came home with an even split of four games as both ‘A’ teams scored victories while both ‘B’ teams suffered losses.

8th grade boys win, lose at Newton

While the McPherson Middle School eighth-grade boys ‘A’ basketball team scored a handy 16-point victory over Newton on the road Monday, the ‘B’ team fought hard before losing by seven.

Ten Pups put points in the scorebook for the eighth-grade ‘A’ team as they scored a 46-30 win over Newton. Of the ten who scored, only Hunter Alvord reached double digits as he dropped in 19. The ‘A’ team is now 2-1 for the young season.

The eighth-grade boys ‘B’ team dropped to 1-2 for the season as they lost a hard fought 35-28 game to Newton. While eight Pups got scores, none reached double figures with Layne Graves leading the way with six.

“The teams went 1-1 on the night and as you can tell from the box score a large number of players contributed and that’s not even counting those that contributed in a big way with things that don’t show up in the box score,” said Head Coach Tyler Brown during his coach reflections of the two games. “They do things like get stops defensively and get multiple deflections and grab rebounds, that is the recipe for success!”

Speaking of individual play, Coach Brown concluded his reflections by adding, “Hunter (Alvord) led the charge doing exactly that, not only does he play an aggressive offensive game, shooting the gap and making defensive plays he does it on both ends of the floor. He might be leading in deflections and steals as well. But others on the team are starting to figure that kind of aggressive play can be contagious as other players are starting to step up and play more confidently like Sam (Becker), Mason (Miller) and Dawson Feil. The more players that can figure out that kind of play the better because then we can attack from all over the floor as long as we put the right decision with it. As for the ‘B’ game – Layne (Graves) had one of his better nights and showed off his aggressive charge as well. But more importantly than all, the stats you can think up at the end of the day when we ask ourselves, ‘did we improve and get better?’. I can honestly say yes, each day that goes by I see this team improving and that’s all you can ask for.”

Next up for the eighth grade Pups will be to host Hutchinson on Monday, Dec. 10.

7th grade boys split with Newton

While the McPherson Middle School seventh-grade boys ‘A’ basketball team remained unbeaten on Monday against Newton, the ‘B’ team lost their second game of the season.

In the ‘A’ game, the seventh-grade boys stayed unbeaten at 4-0 when they scored a 20-point, 50-30 victory with Owen Pyle leading the offense with 13 points and Alex Robertson just missing double figures with nine.

“I was very proud of our guys for coming out fast tonight,” noted seventh-grade Head Coach Eric Burghart. “Coach Barrett and I have talked with these guys about how these Monday games can either be a great strength or a big weakness and this group used it as a strength tonight. We jumped on Newton, who was without a couple of key players, and never looked back. I thought Kreighton (Kanitz) did an excellent job of helping the offense run no matter his position on the floor, that comes from him being in his playbook and trusting his preparation both mentally and physically. We did a decent job of letting our defense turn into offense, but as with most things there is improvement to be made.”

The seventh-grade ‘B’ team dropped to 0-2 on the season as they stumbled to a 42-29 loss against Newton. Only four Pups put points in the scorebook with Henry Boese leading the way by hitting for 15.

Concluding his coach reflections with ‘B’ game comments, Coach Burghart added, “We were right in this one until maybe the last minute. This group simply needs more actual game minutes which I need to do a better job of getting them in practice. Henry (Boese) almost singlehandedly kept us in the game on the offensive side of the court. He attacked the rim and did a great job of staying hungry. We just couldn’t seem to get the big stop or two that would really have brought us back and put some more pressure on the Junior Railers. I’m very excited to have some more ‘B’ games coming up in December so this crew can really show what they are capable of.”

The seventh-grade boys now have a week of practice time before getting back on the court on Monday, Dec. 10 when they travel to Hutchinson.

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