MHS boys hand Augusta first loss

By Steve Sell
January 09, 2018
Kendall Shaw

It happens in such a flash.

McPherson High's No. 2-ranked boys were in a tussle with No. 5-ranked and undefeated Augusta on Tuesday at the Roundhouse, causing Bullpup Nation to squirm a bit.

Down 9-5 early, the Bullpups closed out the first quarter on a 12-0 run for a 17-9 lead.

Then after the Orioles clawed back within 23-20, the Bullpups went on another rip, an 18-4 blast to close out the half to lead comfortably 41-24.

And it only got worse for the Orioles in the second half as the Bullpups' defense was suffocating, giving up just 8 points to complete a 63-32 running-clock victory.

MHS is now 8-1 on the year, 5-0 in AVCTL Division III as it is the leader in the clubhouse at the halfway point. The Bullpups have another ranked team coming up on Friday when they travel to undefeated Andale, the final game before next week's McPherson Invitational. The Bullpups well remember last year's game when the Indians came into the Roundhouse and put it to MHS in a game that caused it to do a lot of soul searching as from there it played lights-out the rest of the season.

The Orioles gave MHS trouble early behind 6-8 center Johnny Clausing, but right after he picked up his second foul with 1:19 left in the first quarter the Bullpups went to town.

Jake Alexander then took over in the second quarter with 9 of his 15 points in the half while Ben Pyle scored 14 before the break.

Alexander went on to finish with a career-high 22 and Pyle also scored 22 as they combined on 17 of 24 floor shots.

MHS then ripped off 15 of the first 18 points in the second half.

"I told them that little spurt we had, what led to that to start the second half, was defensive plays," MHS coach Kurt Kinnamon said. "Really happy with how we played defensively. When you look at the stat sheet, there's not a whole lot to be unhappy about. So, good job tonight."

As good as the offense was, this was all about defense. MHS held top Augusta scorer Chance Whitehead without a point, ditto for fellow starting guard Zac Burton. They were a combined 0 of 12 from the field. For the game the Orioles were 11 of 40 for 28 percent and Clausing, who has committed to Washburn, was held to 6, all in the first 6 minutes of the game as he was scoreless the rest of the way. 

"We held them to 27 percent for the game. That's a tremendous defensive field goal percentage," Kinnamon said. "They missed some shots, some easy shots. But they also shot some contested shots that we did a good job on them."

The MHS JVs did not have a single player score in double figures, but their balance keyed a 49-32 victory as they are now 9-0. Max Alexander was the top MHS scorer with 9 points.

In the ninth-grade game, the Bullpups again had a close contest as they held on for a 47-41 victory behind an explosive game by Eli Pyle, who scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half. 

MHS (63) — Labertew 0-0, 0-0, 0; Ms. Alexander 3-12, 0-0, 6; Jk. Alexander 9-12, 1-2, 22; Diggs 1-2, 0-0, 3; B. Pyle 8-12, 3-6, 22; Mx. Alexander 0-0, 0-0, 0; Stufflebean 1-3, 0-0, 2; Schmid 0-0, 0-0, 0; Hoppes 0-1, 1-2, 1; Kinnamon 1-2, 0-1, 2; Courtney 0-0, 0-0, 0; Trost 0-0, 0-0, 0; Hoover 0-0, 0-0, 0; Jys. Alexander 1-3, 2-3, 5. Totals — 24-47, 7-14, 63. 3-pointers — Jk. Alexander 3, B. Pyle 3, Diggs 1, Jys. Alexander 1.

Augusta (32) — Whitehead 0-5, 0-0, 0; Sharp 0-2, 0-0, 0; Burton 0-7, 0-0, 0; Wesbrooks 2-5, 2-2, 8; Clausing 3-4, 0-2, 6; Altenhofen 1-5, 0-0, 3; Jackson 2-3, 2-2, 7; Bodyk 1-1, 0-1, 2; Swink 2-5, 0-2, 4; Price 0-3, 2-2, 2. Totals — 11-40, 6-11, 32. 3-pointers — Wesbrooks 2, Altenhofen 1, Jackson 1.

------

MHS JV (49) — Mx. Alexander 9, Stufflebean 6, Schmid 6, Hoppes 2, Koehn 2, Hoover 8, Kinnamon 7, Courtney 2, Trost 7.

------

MHS 9th (47) — Jayt. Alexander 8, E. Pyle 20, Powell 9, Elliott 6, Hardman 4.


Close