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Bullpup Girls Control Third Quarter to Defeat Augusta 58-28 on Senior Night

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By Grant Barrett, Ad Astra Radio

 

McPHERSON, Kan. – It was Senior Night at McPherson High School on Tuesday, where three lady basketball players were honored in between games, along with seniors from other MHS Activities, as the Pups played host to the Augusta Orioles for the final regular season game in the Roundhouse.

McPherson Girls 58 Augusta 28

It took almost two minutes for either team to collect their first point, but when the Bullpups saw one go in, the shooting became contagious. The Pups were able to get off to a 12-0 lead after back-to-back three-pointers from Jordan Sears and Karter Alvord, taking a 16-5 lead after a quarter.

The 33-15 halftime lead came from McPherson forcing 19 turnovers in the half, and out of the locker room, they would outscore the Orioles 23-8, leading to a running clock in the fourth quarter. McPherson Head Coach Chris Strathman said, “We really didn’t play very sharp in the first half, we gave up a lot of things defensively that I wasn’t very happy about. We tried to correct some things on the fly, and I think we got some things corrected at halftime as our girls were much better in the third quarter in particular.”

He talked about writing on the board ‘talent’ and ‘skill’ at half time, saying, “We want to be ahead of people because we’re playing really hard number one, playing together, and doing the right things that we’re supposed to do, and we weren’t always doing that, we were just beating them because we were better, and had more talent, and that’s not a good feeling as a coach.” He said,  “I want to beat teams because we played well. There’s a difference.”

Following the 58-28 win, Strathman said, “We have one more game obviously with Mulvane to close out the regular season, fortunately we’ll be back here two more for sub-state, but we have to still get to a point where we’re playing strong, and playing well for longer stretches at a time because that’s what it’s going to take against really good teams.”

Strathman was able sub each senior off of the court individually, as a handful of the Bullpup faithful would stand to applaud their effort. Chloe Clevenger, Alexis Dukes, and Jordan Sears all have played vital roles in their senior season, and Strathman talked about each of their paths that led them to this point.

 “Chloe transferred in from Doniphan West, she’s played huge roles for us the past two years. She’s taken the point guard responsibilities this year and kind of ran with it. She didn’t score a whole lot tonight, but she had five steals, she had six assists, and my favorite number was zero turnovers. She’s doing the right things, so I was really pleased with Chloe tonight, and been happy with her all year as far as her play on the court.”

“As far as Jordan, she’s having a great year, as we can tell.” He said, “She made a few moves that you just can’t really teach, she’s tough to guard whether she’s in the post or facing up, it’s a tough matchup for people to deal with.” Strathman added, “Unfortunately of course she could only play JV last year, I think everybody has seen this year, why we were so frustrated with that last year because we couldn’t have her on the varsity court.”

“Alexis has been with us all four years, she’d be the first to admit that she kind of struggled tonight, but sometimes on Senior Night you’re pressing a little bit, you’re just a little tight, but hopefully she gets past that because she’s had some great games for us, and we’re going to need her to.” He said “We’re going to need her to have some really good games for us against the really good teams coming up.”

The three seniors had the chance to answer questions from the media following the game,  as part of the tradition on Senior Day. Chloe Clevenger said, “I love these girls, and the mindset coming in was to just go out and have fun.” She said, “We didn’t need to score one hundred points, we wanted to have one hundred laughs out there, and that’s what we did.”

Throughout the season Clevenger can be found running laps around the top of the gym before games. She added, “I’m very key on defense, and so the big thing on defense is legs, and before races for cross country you warm up with a mile, or maybe two miles.” She explained that it is also a way for her to shake the pregame jitters.

As Strathman mentioned, Jordan Sears was only able to participate in sub-varsity events last season, and Sears said, “Last year was really hard on me.” She added, “The whole reason I cam here was to play where my parents played.”

Sears said, “This last off-season preparing for this season, I was very nervous to play. I wanted to give it all I’ve got, I’ve only got one year, one chance, so I’ve got to make it count.” she talked about the chemistry that this team has built, and even how enjoyable practice is with the group that she is surrounded by.

When Alexis Dukes reflected on her career she said, “It’s a pretty big deal.” she added, “I’ve been playing since I was in second grade, so I’ve been looking forward to this for  the last three years.”

She wanted to encourage those who look up to her saying, “Being nice has gotten me a long way.” Dukes added, “I feel that’s part of winning homecoming queen, and staying in the game.” She concluded by saying, “I’ve experienced some not so nice moments, but just treat others how you want to be treated.”

Notable Stats
M. Moors 2 pts, 2 ast, 1 stl
K. Alvord 13 pts, 5 stl, 2 reb
C. Clevenger 6 ast, 5 pts, 5 stl
J. Sears 26 pts, 7 reb, 6 stl, 3 ast, 1 blk
A. Dukes 3 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl
E. Bower 2 reb, 1 stl
J. McLeod 6 pts, 3 stl, 3 reb
Al. Romero 2 reb, 1 pt,
Av. Romero 3 stl, 1 reb
R. Eilrich 5 pts

 

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