After all eight McPherson Middle School basketball teams were done playing games on Thursday they finished out with an overall split of four wins and four losses to Salina South, with the seventh and eighth grade girls teams going 2-2 on the road in Salina, while the seventh and eighth-grade boys teams went 2-2 at home.

All teams were scheduled to compete with Hays on Monday before the Thanksgiving break, with the girls traveling to Hays while the boys will be hosting Hays.

MMS 8th grade boys take down Salina South twice

Both the McPherson Middle School 8eighth-grade boys basketball teams scored victories at home on Thursday over Salina South.

The ‘A’ team had a hard-fought battle as they just nicked Salina South by a field goal in getting their 34-32 victory, giving them two wins in two tries so far this season.

Hunter Alvord was the beast on offense for the ‘Pups as he poured in 19 points.

“We played two of the top teams to start the season and were able to get the job done,” acknowledged eighth-grade boys Head Coach Tyler Brown. “Hunter (Alvord) was extremely aggressive and the box score showed that, but it was a team effort! Our big guys, Sam (Becker) and Mason (Miller) did a great job of not giving away anything inside. But we still struggled on our rotations defensively because we gave up six three-pointers which was not good. We were a little flat coming out tonight, but still won the first quarter by one point. The second and third quarters was where we took control of the game as it was a 9-3 second and 12-5 third in our favor. At this point we are feeling pretty good. But once Salina South started hitting their three’s in the fourth quarter we started to panic and gave up 16 points to our four. We have to do a better job of staying composed and playing our game while trusting the system. Our free-throw percentage has to improve as well because we are shooting just 45% from the line through our first two games. But this was a great win as Salina South won the Pioneer League last year.”

Nine players put at least one point in the scorebook for the eighth-grade boys ‘B’ team as they scored a 32-20 victory over Salina South. Joe Brawner led the way with 11 while Zane Morris hit for 8 as the ‘B’ team is now an even 1-1 for the early season.

“From the tip the ‘B’ team seemed like they had control of the game,” noted Coach Brown. “Joe (Brawner) and Zane (Morris) had big games inside the paint and our guards did an excellent job of driving the paint and delivering a good pass to the big guys to finish. But as you can see by the box score, nine players made it and that just shows we moved the ball and got everyone involved. This was almost a complete game by winning three of the four quarters, and the only quarter they lost was a 0-7 third quarter, so they were right in there.”

MMS 8th Grade Girls Drop 2 to Salina South

SALINA – It was a rough day on Thursday for the McPherson Middle School eighth-grade girls basketball teams as both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ team were handed losses on the road at Salina South Middle School.

In the eighth-grade Lady ‘Pups ‘A’ game, Salina South was playing in their fifth game while the eighth-grade Lady ‘Pups were competing in their second. The Lady Cougars showed their strength and handed MMS a 42-30 loss.

Kyla Long led the offensive attack by hitting double digits with 10 points.

“In just our second game of the year we were playing a strong Salina South team that had already played five games together,” explained eighth-grade girls Head Coach TJ Jackson. “We talked to our girls about what we wanted to see improved from our last game and they did everything we asked. They played faster, much better team defense in man and zone, kept their heads up when things went wrong, and continued to gain confidence looking to score. Salina South beat this team by over 40 last year, there is no way the girls can deny they are better today than they were then.”

In conclusion of his coach reflections, Coach Jackson added, “A loss is never something easy to swallow. However, these girls stated after the game that it is very obvious how much of a better team they are now. As coaches, we have continued to speak with them about their body language, their ability to show resilience and these girls have embraced the chance to grow together. We are very proud of them.”

‘B’ game, the Lady ‘Pups could only manage a dozen points offensively as they lost to Salina South 37-12.

Sayge Salmans, Ella Buschbom and Alexis Dukes supplied all the points in the scorebook with Salmans getting seven points, while Buschbom and Dukes added four and one respectively. Eight girls managed to collect at least one rebound.

“Coming into our second game of the year, we focused on being more aggressive on the offensive end with our passing,” noted ‘B’ team Coach Ellie Wingert. “Our opponent gave us a great match up and showed more areas that we look to improve on. The girls did a better job of rebounding this game, and I was proud of the effort many of them showed.”

MMS 7th Grade Boys Splits Pair with Salina South

While the McPherson Middle School seventh grade boys basketball ‘A’ team rolled to a victory on Tuesday at home against Salina South, the ‘B’ team tumbled to Salina South.

Despite a slow start to the game, the ‘A’ team barreled over Salina South to take a convincing 42-15 victory. Kreighton Kanitz and Owen Pyle led the way with each hitting for double digits with 11 and 10 points each, while Jayce Schriner just missed double digits with nine. The ‘A’ team is now 2-0 for the season.

“We started off a little slow tonight, but really started to pick it up in the second quarter and beyond,” said seventh-grade boys Head Coach Eric Burghart. “Jayce (Schriner) did a really nice job of letting the game come to him after a couple of early misses. Kreighton (Kanitz) and Javyn (Alexander) were ball hawks on the boards. I was very proud of their focused effort on rebounding. We still have a long way to go in the way of feeling comfortable and understanding our offensive and defensive sets, but if we can keep putting in a concentrated game-like effort in practice, than the sky is the limit for this group.”

The seventh-grade boys ‘B’ team played for the first time this season and took a 34-20 defeat to Salina South as six players scored at least two points with Henry Boese leading the way with six.

“We have a variety of experience levels on our ‘B’ side,” noted Coach Burghart. “Some that are game ready with everything we’ve gone over and others who are focusing on their pivot foot and catching with two hands. One is truly not better than the other, Coach Grant Barrett and I just have to work on building a cohesive unit instead of five individuals on the floor. Alex (Wheat) gave a great effort on both sides of the floor and was a bright spot in an up and down game.”

MMS 7th Grade Girls Also Split with Salina South

SALINA– Like their boy counterparts, the McPherson Middle School seventh-grade girls basketball team traveled to Salina on Thursday and returned home with a split of two games with Salina South as the ‘A’ team scored a victory while the ‘B’ team took a loss.

The seventh-grade Lady ‘Pups ‘A’ team rolled to a 39-23 victory with Karter Alvord leading the way by dropping in 15 points as eight players put at least two points on the scoresheet.

“We had another great team win tonight,” noted 7th grade girls Head Coach Kaleigh Huxman. “Everyone was involved and we played hard the whole game. This group loves to get after the ball on defense and drives hard to the basket on offense.”

Despite a 20 point outburst on offense by Jayla McLeod, the seventh-grade girls ‘B’ team came home on the short end of a 36-24 score.

“Tonight, was a learning experience for our team,” said Coach Huxman. “This was the first ever game for most of the team and it was fun for me to watch them learn and grow as players. The girls gave 100% effort the whole game. Jayla (McLeod) had quite the debut with 20 points plus eight rebounds.”

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