By William Snesrud
McPherson News Contributor
The McPherson Middle School basketball teams have been busy with games on Thursday against Newton, followed up by the Pioneer League Tournament quarter-finals on Saturday and the semi-finals on Monday.
Recap of the 7th and 8th grade girls and boys teams are as follows:
Pioneer League Tournament Semi-Finals – 8th Grade Girls 35, Hutchinson 20:
In the Pioneer League Tournament Semi-Finals at the Roundhouse, the Middle School 8th grade girls scored a decisive 35-20 victory over Hutchinson, giving them their eighth win in a row. The girls will now play in the tournament finals on Thursday.
Lauren Labertew lead the Lady ‘Pups with 13.
Head Coach Jay Crawford reflected on the semi-final victory by saying, “Getting to the finals was our goal to start our season and we are going to meet a really good Salina Lakewood team who we lost to in overtime earlier in the season. We knew we would see them in the finals and we know it is going to be a battle. We will have to compete on every possession and give it our best effort.”
8th Grade Girls Scoring vs. Hutchinson on Monday: Lauren Labertew 13, Marissa Pearcy 7, Peyton Howard 4, Emily Whorton 4, Ella Schmid 3, Kori Courtney 2, Brette Doile 2.
Pioneer League Tournament Quarter-Finals – 8th Grade Girls 34, Derby North 16:
The Middle School 8th grade girls played a solid game in beating Derby North, 34-16, in the Pioneer League Quarter-Finals on Saturday.
Petyon Howard was the team leader on offense by scoring 12 points, while Ella Schmid just missed double digits with 9.
“It was really nice to be able to play in the ‘Roundhouse’,” admitted Head Coach Jay Crawford. “It was a really early game time start and it showed, we played in spurts and we played so much better when we play with all out effort. First game of tournaments are always tough and we are moving on, so we will continue to make plays for each other like we have all season.”
8th Grade Girls Scoring vs. Derby North on Saturday: Peyton Howard 12, Ella Schmid 9, Lauren Labertew 8, Emily Whorton 3, Brette Doile 2.
8th Grade Girls 56, Newton 10:
On Thursday, the Middle School 8th grade girls barreled over Newton 56-10 in the ‘A’ game. There was no ‘B’ game.
The ‘A’ team finished 11-2 for the regular season, as Peyton Howard led the offense with 16, while Ella Schmid also reached double digits with 14 points and Lauren Labertew just missed double figures with nine. Seven girls put at least two points in the scorebook.
“This was our last regular season game and to close it out on our home court was really exciting for the team,” noted Head Coach Jay Crawford. “We started slow, but as soon as the girls made a couple of baskets they were off and running. It was nice to see them out in the open court sharing the bass with each other.”
According to Coach Crawford, the 8th grade ‘B’ team did not have a game, so they finished the season 11-1, with the lone loss being by just four points.
“Our ‘B’ team only gave up 106 total points for the season while scoring 417,” said Coach Crawford. “This group held two teams scoreless, while giving up just nine points per game. The whole group improved a lot through out the season and they came to practice every day and competed, which is why they just dominated teams.”
8th Grade Girls Scoring vs Newton on Thursday: Peyton Howard 16, Ella Schmid 14, Lauren Labertew 9, Emily Whorton 7, Brette Doile 4, Harper Smith 4, Kori Courtney 2.
8th Grade Boys Roll Past Salina South in Tournament:
In the Pioneer League Tournament Quarter-Finals on Saturday, the Middle School 8th grade boys rolled past Salina South 47-33, raising their season record to 11-3.
Once again, the offense was lead by Seth Madron as he dropped in 28 points, while Jayden Dukes also hit double figures with 14.
“We came out shooting the ball really well in the first quarter by hitting three three-pointers,” commented Head Coach Tyler Brown. “Most games we struggle to hit that many for the entire game. I will say, in the last few games we have shot the ball much better as a team. We had 30 points by halftime, one of our best halves offensively for the season. Seth (Madron) and Jayden (Dukes) led the way by scoring 42 of our 47 points. Our defense was also on lock to start the game by only allowing four points in the first quarter.”
8th Grade Boys Scoring vs. Salina South in the Pioneer League Quarter-Finals: Seth Madron 28, Jayden Dukes 14, Gus Ruddle 3, Anthony Brooks 2.
8th Grade Boys Split with Newton on Thursday:
On Thursday, the Middle School 8th grade boys basketball teams closed out their regular season by splitting two games with Newton. While the ‘A’ team scored a 55-42 victory, the ‘B’ team suffered a season ending 38-35 heartbreaking loss.
Seth Madron was on fire in the ‘A’ game, leading the team in scoring with 23 points, while Gus Ruddle joined him in double digits with 14 as the ‘A’ team closed out their regular season with a 10-3 record.
“I believe with this win tonight, we definitely helped with our seeding for the league tournament,” said Head Coach Tyler Brown. “We are showing glimpses of our offense clicking and playing together. Seth (Madron) again was a force to be reckoned with, while Gus (Ruddle) had one of his better shooting nights. Jayden (Dukes) also played a solid game. I could go on about each player, that just tells me it was good TEAM win.”
The ‘B’ team suffered a heartbreaking three-point loss, 38-35, as they closed out their season with a 5-7 mark for the year.
Despite only playing two quarters of the ‘B’ game, Anthony Brooks was a force as he poured in 16 points. Xavier Sutherlin just missed double digits with nine.
Coach Brown felt for the boys, saying, “My heart goes out to the ‘B’ team guys. This was their last game and they finished 5-7 for the season. Anthony (Brooks) was a machine tonight, but the big difference in this game was the first quarter when we opened the game not ready and getting shut out with no points. We did bounce back with a 19-point second quarter, but we fell just a little short.”
8th Grade Boys ‘A’ Team Scoring vs. Newton on Thursday: Seth Madron 23, Gus Ruddle 14, Jayden Dukes 9, Braeden Ediger 4, Sky Schriner 3, Anthony Brooks 2.
8th Grade Boys ‘B’ Team Scoring vs. Newton on Thursday: Anthony Brooks 16, Xavier Sutherlin 9, Sky Schriner 4, Jaice Minier 4, Brayden Keane 2.
7th Grade Girls Close Season in Pioneer League Quarter-Finals:
The McPherson Middle School 7th grade girls basketball team close out their season on Saturday with a 37-12 loss to Derby in the Pioneer League Tournament quarter-finals.
Only three Lady ‘Pups put points on the scoreboard, with Jordan Sears leading the team with seven.
“Our season came to a close on Saturday,” noted Head Coach Kaleigh Huxman. “I am truly proud of the effort and hard work this group of girls gave thise season. It has been a pleasure to coach them and watch them grow this year.”
7th Grade Girls Scoring vs. Derby in Pioneer League Tournament on Saturday: Jordan Sears 7, Ella Buschbom 3, Sayge Salmons 2.
7th Grade Girls Split with Newton on Thursday:
In the season finale for the McPherson Middle School 7th grade girls basketball teams on Thursday against Newton, the ‘A’ team scored a 31-18 victory, while the ‘B’ team closed out their season with a 20-16 loss.
“It was a great team effort,” according to Head Coach Kaleigh Huxman. “We defended well, made great passes and moved the ball as a unit. It is exciting to head into the tournament with a win.”
7th Grade Girls ‘A’ Team Scoring vs. Newton on Thursday: Alexis Dukes 13, Ella Buschbom 8, Jordan Sears 6, Carsen Berger 2, Kyla Lang 2.
7th Grade Girls ‘B’ Team Scoring vs. Newton on Thursday: Sayge Salmons 5, Braelynn Patterson 3, Maleah Yianakopulos 2, Grace Lacy 2, Kyla Lang 2, Loghan Engelbrecht 2.
7th Grade Boys Close Season in Tournament:
On Saturday, the Middle School 7th grade boys basketball team closed out their season with a 57-41 loss to Hutchinson in the quarter-finals of the Pioneer League Tournament. The loss give the boys a final season mark of 6-8.
Mason Miller led the offense with 13 points, while Hunter Alvord knocked in 12.
“Hutchinson was better throughout and I was outcoached,” said Head Coach Eric Burghart. “On our drive home, I was pretty disappointed with my offensive calls and frankly should’ve switched it up on defense. I certainly didn’t do my part to help us win.”
Looking toward the future, Coach Burghart added, “I’m not a great coach, but I am a decent teacher and if assistant coach Cody Cape and I taught this team enough so that next year they can win a championship, then I consider that a success. This season has been about so much more than basketball for a majority of these boys and I will never forget the practice when we all came in hurting pretty bad and we just played and got after it. I believe that in some way that practice, this season, was healing for them. In no way am I making an excuse for our early exit, just wanted to let these guys know how proud of them I am and how thankful I am for the game of basketball if only for that one day.”
7th Grade Boys Scoring vs. Hutchinson in Pioneer League Quarter-Finals on Saturday: Mason Miller 13, Hunter Alvord 12, Samuel Becker 9, Dawson Feil 5, Dawson Gottwald 2.
7th Grade Boys Split with Newton on Thursday:
On Thursday, the Middle School 7th grade boys basketball teams split with Newton as the ‘A’ buried the Railers in a 50-28 win, while the ‘B’ team closed out their season with a 29-20 loss.
In the ‘A’ game, a balanced offense was the story as four players hit for double digits in the scorebook, with Hunter Alvord and Dawson Feil each knocked down 13 points each, while Samuel Becker and Mason Miller each added 10.
“Once again we started slow from the jump,” noted Head Coach Eric Burghart. “I have to quickly find a way to engage these guys so that we’re ready to explode from the starting blocks. With that being said, this team has shown throughout most of the year that they play their best basketball in the second half and tonight was no different. This team has shown that when we play our brand of basketball, we’re a tough out and it’ll be essential that we do that moving forward as we will have a tough road ahead in the Pioneer League Tournament.”
The 7th grade ‘B’ team closed out it’s season with a 4-9 record as they took a 29-20 loss to Newton on Thursday. While no player reached double digits in the scorebook, Mason Clark led the team on offense with eight points.
“Scoring was tough to come by in our final ‘B’ game of the season,” said Coach Burghart. “Our ball control wasn’t strong enough and we had some tough misses underneath our basket. Nick (Brawner) played by far his best game of the year. This certainly isn’t how we wanted to finish our year, but I will make one excuse for this group and our disappointing record is that we never seemed to all get healthy at the same time. This group was coached by Cody (Cape) and they grew so much through the year, whether that growth was through confidence, knowledge of the game or socially.”
7th Grade Boys ‘A’ Team Scoring vs. Newton on Thursday: Hunter Alvord 13, Dawson Feil 13, Samuel Becker 10, Mason Miller 10, Jaret Myers 2, Dawson Gottwald 2.
7th Grade Boys ‘B’ Team Scoring vs. Newton on Thursday: Mason Clark 8, Joshua Bocox 5, Jordan Bena 4, Nick Brawner 3.