It was another successful turnout in the second annual Mayor's Cup at the Roundhouse on a Wednesday evening. It was a jam-packed crowd at McPherson High School, and was as competitive on the court than, and so was the student from both schools.
Just like last year, the two trophies went into opposite directions. For the second year in a row, The Central Christian College men's basketball team beat McPherson College 77-70, while the McPherson women's outlasted the Lady Tigers 76-65.
Tigers' defense stops Bulldogs
In Central men's win over the Bulldogs, the defense played a role according to their coach Tony Romero.
"Our thing is to stay disciplined, and I thought, for the most part, our guys did a pretty good job in the first half, staying down and discipline, retaining the ball which allowed us to close out a little bit easier on the three-point line," Romero said.
Even though the Bulldogs were at a disadvantage because of the CCC's size, McPherson hung around and only trailed 37-35 at halftime. However, the Tigers still had the edge and were making clean shots to remain in front. Four players finished in double figures for the Tigers. TJ Williams led with 22 points and shot 50 percent from the field. He also was 7-for-7 in the free-throw line. Isaiah Rivera and Nic Mitchell tied for 14 points, and Byron Staten, who Romero compares him to Charles Barkley, was the top three-point shooter after he was 3-for-4 from behind the arc. Mitchell, who came off the bench, had 11 points in the second half, making five out of his nine shots. Bulldogs struggled to defend the Tiger's shooters.
"They made some shots that I thought were tough, and they really guarded us," McPherson's coach TJ Eskildsen said. "I just think we needed to be a little bit tougher, and we'll get there. That's what I thought was the difference maker of the game. They were just a little bit tougher."
Fred Watts was the Bulldogs' top performance after reaching his first double-double of the year with 23 points and 13 rebounds. He also shot 50 percent from the three-point line, made all seven of his free throws and added three steals on the defensive side.
"Fred was a monster," Eskildsen said. "He played probably more minutes then what I what would've wanted him to. He was an animal out there. He got rebounds, he made shots, and he played really hard. He gave everything he had."
The Tigers improve to 2-0 to start the regular season, while the Bulldogs suffer its first loss this year. The Bulldogs will open their first KCAC season on the road to take on their rival Bethany College next Wednesday at 8 p.m.While Tigers will host their Classic for Christ this weekend. On Friday, they will face Dallas Christian College at 8 p.m. and then Nebraska Christian College on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Bulldogs dominate the paint
The McPherson women were able to take home the Mayor's Cup for the second straight time after 76-65 win over the Lady Tigers.
It was not a poor shooting performance from either side. At least in the first half, it did. The Bulldogs only made one three-pointer the entire game out of 16 attempts. However, attacking the basket made up for it.
"When it's not happening from the outside, we got to find a way to score," McPherson's coach Josh Nichols said. "We started to go inside more. We really felt that was the difference in the game."
Brittany Roberts, a double machine, and Danielle Holt combined for 31 points and 31 rebounds. Holt was one-point short of a double-double but will have to settle for nine points and 16 rebounds. While Roberts, who broke her rebound record last week, led the Bulldogs with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
McPherson was up 50-42 going into the locker room and led as high as 14 points in the second half. The Tigers did overcome that deficit and made it a tighter game when they finally found their rhythm offensively. Central kept it close to four points, but couldn't capture a lead the rest of the night. Three Tigers finished in double figures. Jordan Dixon led with 11 points, while Holly Golden, Cieara Carter, Alexis Boyd and Cheyenne Marshall tied for nine points each. Three Tigers did reach double-figures in the rebound category. Cassidy Forsberg led with 13 boards, while Golden and Marshall tied for 10 apiece.
The Tigers fall 1-3 on the year and will travel to Pittsburgh State University for another exhibition game next Saturday, Nov. 16, at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs are off to a 4-1 start. They will have one more nonconference game on Saturday as they take on Dakota State University before their conference opener with Bethany on Wednesday.
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