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Bullpups zone swings momentum
spt jm gbhs girls
The Great Bend girls basketball team receives instruction from head coach Carrie Minton during a timeout. - photo by JIM MISUNAS Great Bend Tribune

McPherson High’s superior strength and height eventually wore down the Great Bend Panthers.
But it was the Bullpups’  aggressive zone defense that swung the momentum in the third period. McPherson outscored the Panthers 17-2 in the third period for a 60-39 non-league basketball victory.
McPherson led 25-19 at halftime, but Bullpup coach Chris Strathman was nervous by how well the Panthers were penetrating and attacking the Bullpups man defense.
“Give Great Bend credit because they are a hard team to defend,” Strathman said. “We told ourselves we’d play zone until they scored. It worked out pretty well.”
The Bullpups’ reeled off six points until Lauren Welsch answered with a 3-pointer. The Bullpups responded with 11 consecutive points for a dominating 42-22 lead. Robertson scored five points and Ashtyn Schieferecke in that 17-2 stretch. Six players scored in their run.
“We did a much better reversing the basketball that second half and we got better shots,” Strathman said. “Great Bend played great defense that first half and kept us under control. We played much better offense that second half.”
Great Bend (7-8) had a hard time getting any defensive stops during the Bullpups’ game-deciding run.
“That third quarter was a dagger. We talked about being ready to play coming out in the third quarter,” said Great Bend coach Carrie Minton. “But we had mental lapses and lost the shooters. They took advantage on offense and we knew that could happen.”
Minton said the Panthers kept the Bullpups under control with solid defense the first half.
“We fought hard that first half,” she said. “We played a solid first half and played our game.”
Lauren Welsch and Regan Unruh led the Panthers with 13 points apiece. The Panthers knocked down timely 3-pointers to stay within 25-19 at halftime. But the Panthers had a hard time developing an inside game against the Bullpups.
“We got shots we wanted and the looks we wanted,” Minton said. “But our defense that third quarter is what hurt us.”
No. 5 Class 4A state-ranked McPherson (11-4) was paced by freshman sensation Robertson with 17 points and flawless ballhandling. Schieferecke added 14 points. The Bullpups converted 24 of 45 field goals behind effective passing and work toward the basket.
The Bullpups missed their first six shots and converted their first field goal at the 2:36 mark of the first period. The Panthers made 1 of 11 field goals with a minute left in the period. But Lauren Welsch and Regan Unruh drilled back-to-back 3-pointers for a stunning 10-7 lead.
The Bullpups eventually regrouped for eight second-chance points and a 25-19 halftime lead. Robertson led the Bullpups with eight points. McPherson did a nice job mixing drives to the basket with perimeter shooting.
The Panthers managed 6 of 19 shooting for 31 percent. McPherson made 11 of 25 field goals for 44 percent. The Panthers struggled to score inside against the taller and physical Bullpups.

Non league
McPherson         7 18 17 18 — 60
Great Bend        10 9  5  15 — 39
McPherson — Robertson 7-14 2-2 17; Schieferecke 6-10 2-3 14; Schmidt 1-3 2-4 4; Wedel 2-3 0-2 4; Yowell 0-4 3-4 3; Collins 1-1 0-0 2; Hoffman 2-2 0-1 4; Ulsaker 1-1 0-0 2; Mandi Cooks 2-3 0-0 4; Bri Cooks 2-4 2-3 6; 24-45 11-19 60.
Great Bend — Unruh 5-12 1-1 13; Welsch 3-11 5-7 13; Kasselman 0-1 0-0 0; Kottas 0-1 0-0 0; P. Burkhart 0-1 0-0 0; Dunekack 1-3 0-0 3; Brack 1-1 0-0 2; Stein 1-3 0-1 3; Mauler 1-3 0-0 2; Dreiling 1-4 1-2 3; Totals 13-42 7-11 39.