McPherson High School McPherson High School Athletics

Bullpups Advance to State Semi-Finals, Beat Augusta 62-46

By Anne Hassler Heidel, McPherson News

Photos by Jeff Heidel

SALINA – The Augusta High School Orioles proved a worthy foe for the McPherson Bullpups in the opening round of the 4A Div. 1 Girls State Basketball Championship Wednesday night in Salina.

The Orioles defense focused in McPherson’s Taylor Robertson and Jayden Marlnee stuck to her like glue the first half. The Pups high scorer was kept to just five points in the first half. No matter though as teammates Riley Hett (2), Lakyn Schieferecke, Hannah Hageman, Emma Ruddle and Grace Pyle rained three pointers in the first half to give McPherson a 31-24 lead at halftime.

Pretty as all those three pointers were, it was the intense Bullpup defense that forced Augusta turnovers and helped McPherson score 13 points in the first half off of forced turnovers.

The Orioles made things tough on the inside for McPherson with 6-2 Abbee Rhodes rebounding and Maddie Livingston powering through on offense. The Orioles scored more than a dozen points off inside lobs to the basket.

Robertson was able to shake off Marlnee and drive the basket more in the second half to help the Bullpups increase their lead to 14 points going into the fourth quarter. The Orioles decided to slow down the pace of the game just as time was winding down in the fourth and played the Bullpups even scoring wise. The final 4 minutes were spent fouling by Augusta and McPherson sinking the resulting free throws.

The Bullpups next face the Altamont-Labette County Grizzlies in the semi-finals at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina. The Grizzlies (2) defeated seventh-seeded Wellington 60-39 earlier in the day. Senior Tristan Gegg lead the Grizzlies with 27 points.

McPherson (62) – Hageman 3-6, 0-0, 8; Schieferecke 4-7, 3-4, 12; Hett 2-4, 2-2, 8; Robertson 7-15, 5-6, 20; M. Cooks 2-6, 0-4, 4; Yowell 0-2, 0-0, 0; Ruddle 1-3, 2-2, 5; Pyle 1-1, 2-2, 5; Sweat, 0-0, 0-0, 0; C. Cooks 0-1, 0-0, 0;  Leaf 0-1, 0-0, 0. Totals — 20-46, 14-20, 62. 3-pointers —  Hett 2, Hageman 2, Robertson 1, Ruddle 1, Schieferecke, 1, Pyle 1.

Augusta (48) – Livingston, 7-8, 4-5, 18; Wheeler, 1-7, 0-0, 3; Rockers 0-2, 0-0, 0; Marlnee, 4-8, 5-5, 13, Rhodes, 5-6, 2-3, 12; Jackson 1-1, 0-0, 2. Totals —  18-32, 11-15, 48. 3-pointers — Wheeler 1.

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