Mac outlasts Bishop Miege, will meet Hugoton for 4A boys championship

McPherson Bullpup #13 Kyden Thompson shoots a free throw.  The McPherson Bullpups defeated...
McPherson Bullpup #13 Kyden Thompson shoots a free throw. The McPherson Bullpups defeated Bishop Miege Stags 60-54 in the semifinals of the KSHSAA Class 4A State Basketball Tournament held at Kurt Budke Court inside the Tony's Pizza Events Center in Salina, Kansas on March 10, 2023. (Photo: Joey Bahr, Bahr | (Photo: Joey Bahr, www.joeybahr.)
Published: Mar. 11, 2023 at 12:44 AM CST
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SALINA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - The McPherson Bullpups defeated the Bishop Miege Stags 60-54 to advance to the Class 4A State Championship game on Saturday evening.

The game was the ninth time McPherson Coach Kurt Kinnamon had faced Bishop Miege’s Rick Zych in either the semifinals or finals of the 4A tournament.

The Stags took an early lead with a three-pointer at the start of the game. The lead would change hands twice in the quarter. At the end of the first quarter, the score was tied 10-10.

McPherson would pull away in the second quarter. They scored a total of 17 points to the Stags’ 10. The Bullpups held a 27-20 lead at halftime.

After the break, Miege began to nibble at the Bullpup lead. At the end of the third quarter, they trailed McPherson 40-35.

In the fourth quarter, Bishop Miege began to foul more. This led to several trips to the free-throw line for McPherson. In the second half, the Bullpups went 16 of 20 in free throws.

Those 16 points proved crucial to give them a buffer as the Stags would keep trying to tie or retake the lead.

“We’ve been a good free throw shooting team all year,” said McPherson Head Coach Kurt Kinnamon. “Kyden missed the first two free throws of the game that he took. He is like an 87% free-throw shooter. I hoped that was not a harbinger of what was to come. He did a great job making them in the second half.

“We did a good job keeping them (Bishop Miege) at bay. We had all kinds of guys on the roster step up and make a play.”

McPherson’s Kyden Thompson led all scorers with 16 points. He made three field goals and went 10 of 12 from the free-throw line. Kreighton Kanitz added 12 points on four field goals and four of eight from behind the free-throw line.

Aidan Wing and McClure Armstrong led Bishop Miege with 13 points. Daegen Jensen added 12 points to the total for the Stags.

McPherson will face Hugoton for the Class 4A State Championship game Saturday evening.