McPherson hands Dodge City first loss, wins MAC title
McPHERSON, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The McPherson Lady Bullpups avenged a December loss by beating the Dodge City Lady Demons 45 to 39 to win the 26th Annual Mid America Classic.
Dodge City came into the Roundhouse in McPherson on December 18th and gave the Lady Bullpups a rare regular-season home loss. The 58 to 41 victory left a mark on the team hosting the mid-season tournament.
The outcome of the December game also set the seeding for the tournament. Dodge City earned the top seed with their undefeated record. The hosts, McPherson, would get the number two position.
Both teams won their two pool games. Dodge City won 56 to 33 over Wichita Southeast on Wednesday and 43 to 21 against Manhattan on Friday. McPherson defeated Valley Center 64 to 45 Wednesday and Wellington by 58 to 39 on Friday.
Due to McPherson having the lower seed, they played as the visitors in the game. Though, they had the home position on the scoreboard.
McPherson opened the scoring with two three-pointers from Lauren Labertew and Grace Pyle. Dodge City clawed back and took a 10 to 8 lead with almost two minutes left in the first quarter. With only seconds left in the quarter, McPherson’s Ella Schmid hit another Lady Bullpup three-pointer at the buzzer to put them up 14 to 10.
The second quarter was an even affair as both sides scored ten points. McPherson held their four-point lead going into the locker room for halftime, 24 to 20.
Dodge City came out of the break and narrowed the lead to just one at the end of the third quarter. The Lady Red Demons scored 12 points in the quarter. Becca Unruh and Victoria Gonzalez scored half of those points from a three-pointer each.
Fouls became an issue for Dodge City in the fourth quarter. Officials called seven fouls on the Lady Red Demons in the final quarter. Amaya Perez, Lauren Gleason, and Victoria Gonzalez all finished the game with four personal fouls.
McPherson took advantage of all those fouls by shooting a perfect ten for ten from the free-throw line. Foul shots accounted for all but two of the Lady Bullpups points in the fourth quarter.
In contrast, Dodge City only has two free-throws all game. The free-throws came in the first quarter, and they made both.
“When the ball does not go through the hoop, we had every opportunity, and some of our shots didn’t fall that normally do,” said Dodge City Head Coach Kelly Snodgrass. “When your offensive glue, Lauren sits with two fouls early. Then Mataya, our defensive energy, had to sit. We have to be able to defend without fouling.”
Victoria Gonzalez led the Lady Demons with 11 points. Becca Unruh followed closely with 10 points.
“Hats off to Dodge, they defended great,” said McPherson Head Coach Chris Strathman. “This was a gut check, toughness win. We’re not the thickest team. We found a way to battle through tonight.”
For the Senior members of the Lady Bullpups, this was their third out of four Mid America Classic championships.
Lauren Labertew scored 15 points to lead the Lady Bullpups. Kassidy Beam contributed 13 points to the total.
The McPherson victory also gave Dodge City their first loss of the season. They leave with an 11 and 1 record.
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