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Four Bullpups Score in Double-figures to Defeat Wellington in 4A State Quarterfinal Win


By Grant Barrett, Ad Astra Radio


SALINA, Kan. – The McPherson High Boys Basketball team guaranteed themselves a full 25-game season, as two more games will await them at Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina, after a 71-49 win over the Wellington Crusaders in the Class 4A State Quarterfinals on Wednesday.

The Pups began the game on an 8-0 run, before Wellington would knock down back-to-back threes to get back within two, and settled into their trapping 1-2-2 pressure, slowing the game down, as it was a 15-13 MHS lead after a quarter. 

McPherson Head Coach Kurt Kinnamon talked about the offensive plan of attack against the zone, saying,  “We had a pretty good idea of what it was going to be, and I thought we did a really good job of executing against it.” He said, “They turned Circle over twenty-eight times with that, and I thought our guys did a really good job of faking the pass,” 

Cory Muehler would begin the second quarter by knocking down a Gabe Pyle was yet again the spark off the bench, combining with Muehler for 23 of the 33 Bullpup points, as McPherson would slowly pull away, going into the half leading 33-25.

Kyden Thompson put his signature on the third quarter, opening with a steal, which led to an electrifying breakaway dunk. A few possessions later, he would catch an alley-oop off of a set play, and on the ensuing defensive possession came up with a deflection that sent him diving into his bench, while saving it ahead to Owen Pyle for an easy layup. “I thought we were really good in transition. We were able to get rebounds and get up and down the floor.” said Kinnamon.

Thompson also knocked down a three-pointer in the quarter, as the Bullpups were able to outscore the Crusaders 25-11 in the quarter, taking a 58-36 lead into the fourth. Thompson finished with 11 points in the second half, and led with four steals in the game, while four Bullpups finished in double figures following the 71-49 win.

“Obviously, we’re very happy to be playing on Friday,” He said, “We looked like the team that had the experience of playing here. That is an advantage.” He expects the team to be playing with a lot of confidence, saying, “They should be very pleased with how they played, how they shared the ball and how they passed the ball. I don’t know why your confidence wouldn’t be high.”

Coach Kinnamon and the Pups land in their 17th semifinal since 1996, and Friday, they will take on back-to-back 4A State Champion, Bishop Miege at 6 p.m. The winner will find themselves playing in Saturday’s State Final, facing the winner of No. 1 seed Hugoton and No. 4 seed Eudora.

Notable Stats:
O. Pyle 11 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 1 blk
C. Muehler 17 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl
K. Thompson 15 pts, 5 ast, 4 stl
Kr. Kanitz 8 reb, 4 pts, 3 stl, 2 ast
M. Miller 5 reb, 3 pts, 1 ast
J. Pyle 1 stl
H. Hoxie 4 pts, 1 blk
G. Pyle 15 pts, 5 stl, 2 reb, 2 ast
G. Wedel 2 pts, 1 ast, 1 reb