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Bullpups Cruise to 77-47 Quarterfinal Win against Wichita East in 59th Annual MIT


By Grant Barrett, Ad Astra Radio


McPHERSON, Kan. – All five McPherson High starters finished by scoring in double-figures in Thursday’s quarterfinal win against Wichita East, in the 59th Annual McPherson Invitational Boys Basketball Tournament.

The contest was filled with incredible scoring runs for the Bullpups, showing glimpses of what could be a special season, then at times we’re reminded that this team is built around just one senior.

Mason Miller was able to use a rare height advantage against the Blue Aces, and the Pups were able to find the mismatch inside for a majority of the night, as the senior finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for McPherson. 

“We knew we should have an advantage inside,” said McPherson Assistant Coach Dustan Kanitz, who met with the media following the game. “Just looking at the heights and on film, we knew Mason could have a big game scoring and rebounding, and that’s where we started, just trying to get it in to Mason, and he did a good job of kicking, and everybody got involved it was nice to see.”

Cory Meuhler was just as essential to building a 21-13 first quarter lead, as he combined with Miller for 16 of the 21 points in the period.

The Pups were able to take a comfortable 41-25 advantage into the locker room when Kreighton Kanitz knocked down a 14-foot floater at the buzzer.

Everybody got in on the action in the third quarter, as back-to-back baskets came from Kyden Thompson. Mason Miller would have back-to-back points, and an opportunity for a three-point play, but Kanitz would come up with an offensive rebound, and would find Owen Pyle for three from the top of the key.

On the next possession, Kanitz would finish through contact for a 3-point play, as it was an 18-8 Bullpup third quarter to take a 59-33 lead into the fourth quarter.

Head Coach Kurt Kinnamon was able to get his starters most of the fourth quarter off, which will be crucial as the Pups look ahead to their next matchup. They have less than 24-hours before they take the hardwood again, as they prepare for Manhattan, a team that brings a physical 6’6 duo. Kanitz said, “We’ll have to do a really good job on the glass, matchup-wise we’ll have some big shoes to fill there, but we’re looking forward to the opportunity though.”

Friday’s Semifinal matchups will begin with (No. 2) St. James Academy taking on (No. 3) Lawrence Free State at 6:30.

The (9-1) top-seeded McPherson Bullpups will follow, taking on (No. 4) Manhattan with tipoff scheduled for 8:15. Join Grant Barrett and Steve Sell on Friday, at 7:45 for the Midway Motors Drive to the Game.

Notable Stats:
C. Muehler 16 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast
K. Thompson 15 pts, 5 ast, 4 reb
M. Miller 14 pts, 10 reb
O. Pyle 12 pts, 4 ast, 3 stl
K. Kanitz 10 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast
J. Pyle 4 pts, 1 ast, 1 reb
H. Hoxie 3 pts, 1 reb
B. Brown 2 pts
I. Razak 1 pt, 1ast
G. Wedel 5 reb
G. Pyle 3 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl
H. Boese 2 reb

MIT Scores:
(No. 2) St. James Academy def. (No. 7) Blue Valley West 76-56
(No. 3) Lawrence Free State def. (No. 6) Olathe East 51-43
(No. 4) Manhattan def. Shawnee (No. 5) Mission East 42-40

Below is the updated bracket.

MIT updated bracket for 1.20.23


Photos By Kendall Shaw