SALINA – Both the McPherson Middle School seventh and eighth grade girls basketball teams split a pair of battles on the road at Salina Lakewood on Thursday to close out their 2018-19 seasons.

8th Grade Girls Split with Salina Lakewood

While the McPherson Middle School eighth grade girls ‘A’ basketball team took a nine-point, 34-23 loss on the road at Salina Lakewood Thursday, the ‘B’ team closed out the day and season with a close 16-14 victory.

In the ‘A’ game, none of the junior Lady Pups hit for double digits as six players shared the scoring with Alexis Dukes leading the way with eight. Ella Buschbom and Kelcie Kynaston each chipped in four, Kyla Lang had three and both Sayge Salmans and Emma Stein scored two points apiece.

“The only thing that went wrong here was we started slow and right at the end when we made it very close, Salina Lakewood hit three, three-pointers after we had kept them from hitting any all game,” explained Head Coach TJ Jackson in his final post-game reflections of the season. “We are extremely proud of these young ladies. We scored nine points more than we did the last time we played Lakewood a week ago and didn’t let them score as many as they did last time. That shows exactly what we asked them to do all year and that is just keep getting better. The girls worked hard and were motivated to make this game better than the last time. The energy from the bench and from kids on the court was outstanding. These young ladies have a lot to look forward to and we can’t wait to see what they will do at high school. We are proud of these ladies.”

In the ‘B’ teams final game of the season, they scored a hair thin, two-point overtime victory at 16-14 and did so with a balanced offense as six junior Lady Pups scored in the game, led by Payton Hamilton with four. Kelcie Kynaston and Tyla Lang each had three while the trio of Emily Heskett, Loghan Engelbrecht and Aleah Perry each chipped in a pair of points.

“The girls fought hard tonight and won a close game in overtime,” noted Coach Jackson. “Every player gave it their all and it was exciting to see their hard work pay off! The girls did an awesome job of running their plays and making smart passes. They communicated and played aggressive defense. I’m so proud of how these girls treat each other on and off the court, and I’m excited to watch them continue their basketball careers in high school.”

7th Grade Girls Win and Lose in Salina

Like the older girls, the McPherson Middle School girls seventh grade basketball teams earned a split on the road in Salina on Thursday with the ‘A’ team dropping a heartbreaking three-pointer, 24-21 and the ‘B’ team scoring a 24-18 victory as they both closed out their 2018-19 seasons.

Only four players scored in the ‘A’ team game as Madison Moors led the offense with nine, while Karter Alvord scored seven, Alex Romero hit for four and Reanna Eilrich had one.

“Tonight was not necessarily the way we wanted to end our season,” noted seventh-grade Head Coach Kaleigh Huxman. “However, I am extremely proud of this group of girls. We started the game pretty slow and then it was back and forth the entire game. The girls continued to battle on the boards and had some really good looks that just didn’t fall our way. This group an absolute delight to coach and came to practice every day ready to have fun and get better. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

The seventh-grade ‘B’ team was able to close out their season with a 24-18 victory as six junior Lady Pups put points in the scorebook for the final time in the 2018-19 season.

Kyndall Sanbo led the offense with seven points, while Jayla McLeod had six, and Eva Malm scored five while Bentley Smith, Raina Schmidt and Jana Bruce all pitched in for a pair of points each.

“The ‘B’ team was able to close out the season with a win,” said Coach Huxman. “This group includes a lot of players who are playing basketball for the first time. With that being said, it has been a joy to watch them grow and learn this season. They did not get discouraged and continued to get better every single day. I am truly proud of their effort tonight and their attitudes this entire season.”

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