McPherson clinches 13th straight league title with win over Circle

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McPHERSON, Kan. - Led by a stifling defense that forced 11 Circle turnovers, McPherson won a league title for a 13th straight season, topping the T-Birds 46-35 Friday night.

On senior night in the roundhouse, two seniors in Emma Ruddle and Kassie Cooks, along with junior Grace Pyle, each scored 10 points in the win for the now 18-1 Bullpups.

Pyle lead the way early, scoring 7 of her 10 in the first half including the first five points for the Pups. But it was a back and forth contest until Mac started to pull away midway through the second quarter.

A big half from Circle's Mallory Cowman kept it as close as 14-12 before the Pups outscored the Thunderbirds 9-3 to end the half.

After the break, Circle got the deficit down to as little as five but no closer with Mac pulling away at the free throw line, with Ruddle hitting 6 foul shots down the stretch to ice it.

Before the game started, Andrea Sweat was announced as a starter in her final home game in the Roundhouse. Sweat tore her ACL earlier in the season and saw the court for the opening tip, getting a standing ovation in her final regular season home game.

With just one game remaining, McPherson is just a win over Augusta away from clinching the top seed in the 5A playoffs on the West side. The Bullpups and Andover Central could both finish 19-1, but a head-to-head win by McPherson earlier this season gives the advantage to Mac in seeding.