McPherson boys 65, Circle 43

McPHERSON — On Senior Night at the Roundhouse, the McPherson High School boys basketball team put on another offensive performance, defeating Circle High School 65-43 on Friday night.

The Thunderbirds fall to 5-13, while the Bullpups, 13-6, remain unbeaten in the AVCTL Division III.

The Bullpup offense played fierce from the start of tipoff. McPherson led 21-6 by end of the first quarter. Circle didn't give in just yet as the second quarter belonged to T-Birds after outscoring the Bullpups 12-7.

Still, McPherson led by 10 at halftime.

Hayes Schmid was lights out, especially from the 3-point line. Schmid, who was among one of four seniors honored, dropped 23 points on the T-Birds, and was 5 for 7 from behind the arc.

McPherson head coach Kurt Kinnamon couldn't help but be amazed on how his senior performed, not only by his shooting performance, but also with his effective defense.

"I like how his game has become more than just a shooter," Kinnamon said. "I told him when he came out that he brought tears to my eyes and the fact we didn't know that he'll be able to play, so I'm really happy for that."

Along with Schmid's 23-point performance, Cody Stufflebean and Seth Madron tied for 13 points. Stufflebean, a Kansas State football commit who was also honored on senior night along with Sam Pyle and Cooper Courtney, was 5 for 7 from the field. The highlight for Madron was dunking some baskets off of lob passes from Jayton Alexander, who picked seven assists to go along with six points.

Madron also added four assists, two steals and two blocks.

"What was really good is we can run long possessions and then get a basket," Kinnamon said. "We made a conscious effort and Hayes (Schmid) figured it out by sprinting down the floor and get layups. I said that 'you guys are ought to be having a race every trip.' So we got some of that in and it still good night, and I'm really proud of these seniors"

No one from Circle finished in double figures. Eli Jacobson came close with nine points. Jake Shaults, Matt Hromek and Luke Beougher each tied for eight points.

Circle has two more games left on its schedule. The T-Birds will host Winfield High School next Tuesday and then travel to Buhler High School next Thursday.

The Bullpups will complete their regular season on the road as they take on Augusta High School next Tuesday.

McPherson girls 46, Circle 35

There was no questions that defense was the key component on Friday night, which McPherson High School had the edge and defeated Circle High School, 46-35.

The Bullpups improve to 18-1 on the season and remaian undefeated in league play. Circle drops to 15-3 on the season with one game left.

Emma Ruddle, Grace Pyle and Cassie Cooks each tied for 10 points. Pyle and Cooks also tied for seven rebounds. Pyle added three blocks.

No one from Circle finished in double figures. Mallory Cowman was on the verge of a double-double performance. After a strong first half when she scored eight points and six rebounds, she was held without a basket and finished the night with nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

Kimalee Cooks was scoreless the whole game as she was 0 for 9 from the field. The Lady T-Birds struggled to make shots from behind the 3-point line as they went 0 for 7 in the first half.

It was later in the third quarter when Circle made its first 3-pointer of night and was 3 for 16 the whole game.

"We felt going into halftime we shot horrible in the first half," Circle head coach Brian Henry said. "We had some good inside looks but we couldn't make a basket from the outside. We got some outside shots to fly in the second half. That kind of helped us get start on runs. We were able to get some transition baskets."

Circle was not completely out of it early in the third quarter. The Thunderbirds trailed as close as five points. With 1:41 left, Pyle knocked a 3-point basket for the Bullpups to receive a 10-point lead.

The Bullpups had their highest lead of the night until Lana Chase knocked a 3-pointer to keep it a single-digit game with McPherson still ahead 41-32 with 3:53 left the fourth quarter. Pyle made one more 3-point basket to close the deal on the Lady T-Birds.

"I felt that tonight we gave tremendous effort throughout. I think we kind of shot ourselves in the foot a little bit and some of it was McPherson being just a great defensive team," Henry said. "We missed some open opportunities I felt that we had. You get three of those to go and all of sudden it's a closer game. We also had a half dozen turnovers that we probably shouldn't have. If we could clean that stuff of it, it's a game that we can definitely be right there. They are one of the top teams in the state so we're proud of our girls for continuing to fight and stay with it."

In the season finale before the start of sub-state, the Lady Pups will complete their season at Augusta High School next Tuesday at 6 p.m. Circle has two more games left and will host Winfield High School on Tuesday then travels to Buhler next Thursday.