Heading into the much anticipated matchup with Derby, the McPherson Girls Basketball team was down three starters due to injury forcing others to step in for the Bullpups on their way to a 49-40 win over the Panthers.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our girls, the way they competed tonight,” explained McPherson Head Coach Chris Strathman.
Both Derby and McPherson battled in a physical game that was decided by which team would outlast its counterpart. Offensively, the Panthers were looking to work the ball inside to the post often having the size advantage over the Bullpups.
Sydney Nilles led the way for Derby, creating opportunities for her teammates while calling her own number on occasion. The do-it-all senior ended the first half scoring a three point bucket followed by a buzzer beater to create a five point lead at intermission.
Halftime is where the game shifted for McPherson.
“What I told the girls was take the ball at them, don’t be timid,” noted McPherson Junior Grace Pyle who was one of the go-to players for McPherson in the late stretch of the game. “Don’t be timid, take it right at them, don’t fear them,” Pyle added.
When asked about what put his team over the top in this match-up on the road, he stated the toughness his team showed saying, “What will always work is defense and rebounding, you should be able to do that anywhere and we did that tonight. We made just enough shots and enough free throws to hold them off,” he ended.
The win for McPherson was the product of a number of things, making tough shots mixed with gritty defense among others but for the Bullpups this is just the beginning Pyle smiled, “this is a great feeling and a great win. I don’t ever want to lose this feeling.”