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Bullpup Girls Make it 8 In-A-Row, Defeating Andale 41-29 in a Top 10 Battle in 4A


By Grant Barrett Ad Astra Radio


ANDALE, Kan. – With the McPherson High Boys preparing for the 59th Annual McPherson Invitational Tournament on Thursday, the No. 2 (8-1) Bullpup Girls traveled to Andale on Tuesday, to take on the No. 6 (7-1) Indians in a battle of top 10 teams in Class 4A.

It was a game of runs on Tuesday, as Andale began the game on a 7-2 run, scoring quickly in transition, forcing McPherson Head Coach Chris Strathman to regroup his team early with a timeout. 

Out of the timeout, the Pups would close the quarter on a 10-2 run, led by Alexis Dukes who had 8 of those points, including a deep three pointer as time expired in the period. 

In the second quarter, the Pups would find themselves battling foul trouble, as all five starters had at least one foul, and three of the five starters had two fouls. 

Fortunately for McPherson, Andale would struggle from the free-throw line, and the Pups were able to take advantage, as Ava Romero would come off of the bench for 6 first half points, and would combine with Madi Moors to extend the Bullpup lead to 25-12 after they would knock down back-to-back threes, giving the Pups a 26-12 lead, going into the half.

However, Andale would come out of the locker room on a 7-0 run to begin the third quarter, and Jordan Sears would pick up her fourth foul with 5:20 in the quarter, but Jayla McLeod and Ava Romero would come into score the next 5 points, before Karter Alvord would make it an 8-0 Bullpup run to close out the period leading 34-19.

“Offensively, it was a struggle tonight for Jordan inside.” Strathman said, “Foul trouble had something to do with that probably, but I think their athleticism inside did too.” He mentioned McKenzie Fairchild and Maddie Schrandt for Andale, as tremendous athletes when they were on the court together at the same time, he said, “Defensively especially, they kind of sped us up at times, and we started forcing things too.” He admitted that the game was not pretty, but he said, “That’s the way Andale will typically make you play, they’re just very solid defensively, and they don’t make a whole lot of mistakes as far as positioning.” He talked about the length and athleticism making it difficult for his team to be as sharp as he would’ve liked with the basketball offensively.

Andale began the final quarter much like they started the game, fueled on a 6-0 run, picking up McPherson full-court defensively, trapping the Pups and, forcing transition turnovers to make it a 34-25 game. But, down the stretch the senior, Alexis Dukes would knock down a huge three, extending the Bullpups lead back to double-digits, as they would go on to win 41-29.

“Overall, pretty good effort,” said Strathman, “We’ve got to get better at defensive transition, they ran a lot harder on us late, and looked to push it on us more than I thought they would. He said, “It kind of caught us off guard, but we adjusted and did a better job after those first few minutes.”

Following the win, the Pups move to 9-1 overall, and are currently enjoying an 8-game winning-streak. They will enjoy 9 days in between games before hosting the Mid-America Classic. “We always look forward to our tournament,” said Strathman, “The kids get tomorrow off, we’ll go hard Thursday and Friday, then they have Saturday off, then we’ll have three days to get ready.”

Strathman expects to be the one seed in the Mid-America Classic beginning next Thursday. He talked about the teams he expects to match up with, and concluded by saying, “Regardless, we’re excited. This is a fun time of year, this is a great win for us on the road. We didn’t play great, but it’s a great win. Now we get excited for our tournament, which is one of the best in the state. We always enjoy that, and our kids always get excited to play in the Mid-America Classic.”


Scoring Summary:

A. Dukes 11 pts

K. Alvord 11 pts

Av. Romero 9 pts

M. Moors 6 pts

J. Sears 2 pts

J. McLeod 2 pts