Girls tourney set to begin

Chad Frey
McPherson's Peton Howard (12) shoots the basketball during their game against Newton earlier this season. The Bullpups will host the Mid America Classic Basketball Tournament this week.

The Mid America Classic Basketball Tournament will look a little differently this year as girls hoops teams prepare to chase the title at the McPherson roundhouse. 

There will be fewer teams, meaning how games are scheduled will change. 

"This year, due to COVID cancellations, we are running a 6-team tournament," said Shane Backhus, activities director for McPherson.  "The format includes two pools of 3.  Where you play on Saturday is determined by how you finish in your pool."

COVID-19 has led to schools to place travel restrictions on teams and look for tournament opportunities closer to home — or to cancel tournament play all together. 

The Bullpup girls enter the tournament on a four game winning streak — dispatching Circle, 62-34; Augusta 70-31; Winfield, 56-31; and Buhler, 72-23 during the win streak. The team is 8-2 overall as they enter the tournament as the second seed. They will compete in pool B.

Also in pool B will be 7-2 Wellington and 3-6 Valley Center. The top team from pool play — contested on Jan. 27, 28 and 29 — will play in the tournament championship on Jan. 30. 

The top seed of this year's Mid America Classic  is Dodge City — the Demons enter the tournament undefeated on the season. That win streak includes a Dec. 18 win over McPherson, 58-41. The Bullpups are the only tourney team Dodge City has played thus far. 

Also in pool A will be 6-3 Wichita Southeast and 5-2 Manhattan. 

Following pool play Jan. 27, 28 and 29, the roundhouse will host three games on the final day — a fifth place game at 12:30 p.m., third place game at 3 p.m. and championship at 5:30 p.m. Teams will be paired based on pool play finishes. 

The Mid America Classic Basketball Bracket