The McPherson High School girls basketball team has kicked off their 2018-19 season with a 2-0 start without their head coach Chris Strathman, who he continues to recover from surgery. With two under their belt, the Lady Pups has earned Team of the Week from the McPherson Sentinel.

There were questions in how the Lady Pups were going to respond this season without Strathman on the sidelines. The Lady Pups responded with a 55-44 victory against Andover High School on the road last Friday and then defeated Andover High School, 47-29, on Tuesday.

"Last Friday was truly a team win, as all 11 girls played and contributed in important ways," Lady Pups interim head coach Mike Reith said. "We had four players in double figures, and they really did a great job of sharing the basketball and playing aggressively in our pressure defenses. We appreciate the honor, and we hope it's not the last time we earn it this season"

The four players in double figures were Emma Ruddle, who led with 12 points, and Lakyn Schieferecke Riley Hett and Grace Pyle tied for 10 points. Against Andover Central, Maggie Leaf had her breakout game as she led the Lady Pups with 17 points and 12 rebounds, her first double-double of the season.

"That's really exciting. I remember being at JV that it was a huge honor. Now it's even better because it's varsity," Leaf said.

The best thing about all of it was that even though Strathman was not in attendance, he was there in spirit as he listened to game at home.

"We know how much hard he want us to work, proving how hard we can work as hard as we can. It's really exciting," Leaf said. "It's also cool to have him listen to our games too."

The Lady Pups have another tough task at hands this Friday as they take on 6A defending Champs, Derby High School. Derby, loaded division-1 talent, has not lost a game since losing to the Lady Pups last year at the Roundhouse. For the Lady Pups, this is their test to see how far this team they can go in life without Taylor Robertson.

"We have some things we know that we're going to be working on. Obviously they are a tremendous team. Defending 6A champions and returned everybody," Reith said. "They are going to be a challenge and we look forward to it. I'm glad they're coming here, but we got some things to prepare and we know what we have to do for the next couple days."

Tipoff for the McPherson-Derby game will begin at 6 p.m. at the Roundhouse.

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