Lady Bullpups win Classic

By William Snesrud/Chad Frey
McPherson Sentinel
The McPherson Lady Bullpups collected a tournament win at the Mid America Classic, winning the title with a 45-39 win over Dodge City,

The  McPherson Bullpup Girls avenged an early season loss when it mattered most — the finals of the 2021 Mid-America Classic. 

McPherson entered the Saturday night tilt riding a seven game win streak, and 9-2 overall. One of those two losses was a 58-41 decision to Dodge City on Dec. 18 — the team standing in the Boolpups' path to a Mid-America Classic Championship. 

In the rematch, McPherson came out on top, 45-39 of a nip-and-tuck battle.

"Great win over an outstanding Dodge City team," said Chris Strathman, coach of the Lady Bullpups. "So fun to see us play for each other and compete like we did tonight."

Dodge City entered the contest ranked third in class 6A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association. McPherson was ranked fourth in class 4A. 

McPherson battled on the board, out rebounding Dodge City 28-24. 

"Every possession was important. Every rebound and loose ball was important," Strathman said. 

Lauren Labertew led McPherson with 15 points. Kassidy Beam followed up a big night in the semi-finals with 13 points to be the only other Bullpup in double figures. Peyton Howard led the club on the boards with a game-high nine rebounds. 

Victoria Gonzalez led Dodge City with 11 points. Becca Unurh had 10 points and six rebounds for Dodge City, 

Beam scores 29 in win over  Wellington

MCPHERSON – In game that saw 15 three-pointers go through the nets, McPherson’s Kassidy Beam made six on her way to scoring 29 points while leading the Lady Bullpups to a 58-39 win over Wellington on Friday to earn a shot at unbeaten Dodge City on Saturday in the championship game of the 2021 Mid-America Classic.

McPherson jumped all over Wellington in the first quarter and took a nine-point, 11-2 lead after just eight minutes of play before extending the advantage out to 17 points at 30-11 going into the halftime break.

The Lady Bullpups continues to outscore the Lady Crusaders in the third before the two teams played even up in the fourth as McPherson earned their final 19-point victory.

Wellington, who connected for 10 three-pointers on Thursday against Valley Center, put nine more through the nets against McPherson, including four by Ali Zeka, though it was not enough to keep up with the Lady Bullpups.

Two stats that stood out in favor of McPherson were overall shooting where the Lady Bullpups shot 55% from the field while the Lady Crusaders only made 37% overall despite hitting 47% of their shots from beyond the three-point line, while the Lady Bullpups also dominated on the boards and out rebounded Wellington by 15, 33-18, lead by Grace Pyle and Peyton Howard who each pulled down seven.

Beyond Beam’s 26 points, no other McPherson players reached double digits in scoring though Emma Malm had eight and Grace Pyle finished with seven. Pyle also lead the Lady Bullpups on helping her teammates by dishing out five assists.

Zeka led the Lady Crusaders with 16 points while Ashlyn Gerten had eight.

With the victory, the Lady Bullpups are now 9-2 on the season and have the tough task ahead on Saturday of battling undefeated Dodge City who is now 11-0, ranks third in Class 6A and already holds a 17-point, 58-41 win over McPherson from mid-December. The Mid-America Classic championship game will be at 5:30 p.m.

According to other reports, Lady Bullpup Head Coach Chris Strathman has noted that Dodge City is an outstanding team and while they are a very well-balanced offensive team, they are a team that really plays defense too.

MCPHERSON vs. DODGE CITY

SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL

DC    10 10 12 7 39

MCP    14 10 12 7 39

TEAM STATS:

DODGE CITY: FG = 15-47; 3PT = 7-25; FT = 2-2; AST = 8; RBS +24; TO = 8; STL = 4; BLKS = 1; FLS = 19

MCPHERSON: FG = 13-31; 3PT = 6-16; FT = 13-15; AST = 8; TO = 16; STL = 2; BLKS = 0; FLS = 11. 

DODGE CITY INDIVIDUAL SCORING : Becca Unruh 10, Camree Johnson 8, Kisa Unruh 5, Amaya Perez 5, Victoria Gonzalez 11. 3 POINTERS MADE - Unruh 2, Johnson 2, Unruh, Perez. 

MCPHERSON NDIVIDUAL SCORING : Lauren Labertew 15, Kassidy Beam 13, Peyton Howard 4, Grace Pyle 8, Emma Malm 2, Ella Schmid 3. 3 POINTERS MADE - Labertew 2, Beam 1, Pyle 2, Schmid 1.

WELLINGTON vs. MCPHERSON

SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL

Wellington 2 11 14 12 39

LADY BULLPUPS 11 19 16 12 58

TEAM STATS:

WELLINGTON: FG = 13-35; 3PT = 9-19; FT = 4-12; AST = 7; RBS = 18; TO = 20; STL = 7; BLKS = 0; FLS = 13.

LADY BULLPUPS: FG = 24-44; 3PT = 4-10; FT = 4-10; AST = 10; RBS = 33; TO = 18; STL = 8; BLKS = 2; FLS = 18.

WELLINGTON INDIVIDUAL SCORING: Ali Zeka – 16; Ashlyn Gerten – 8; Myriland French – 6; Rylee Rusk – 5; Airalyn Frame – 3; Shiney Hughes – 1. 3-POINTERS MADE: Ali Zeka – 4, Ashlyn Gerten, Myriland French – 2; Airalyn Frame – 1.

LADY BULLPUPS INDIVIDUAL SCORING: Kassidy Beam – 26; Emma Malm – 8; Grace Pyle – 7; Peyton Howard – 6; Lauren Labertew – 4; Ella Schmid – 2; Karter Alvord – 2. 3-POINTERS MADE: Kassidy Beam – 6.