By William for

SALINA – It was a good pre-Thanksgiving break road trip for the McPherson Middle School eighth-grade boys basketball team as they went to Salina and made a clean sweep of victories in two games with Salina South.

In the eighth grade ‘A’ game, the Junior Pups scored a convincing 49-32 victory as Javyn Alexander and Gavin Wedel led the team in scoring with both reaching double digits at 13 and 11 points respectively.

“In the ‘A’ game, defensively we were not locked in during the first quarter and gave up 14 points,” noted eighth-grade Head Coach Jay Crawford. “The players knew we were a better defensive team than what we showed in that quarter. Javyn (Alexander) really got us going on the defensive end of the court as he was very active and really applied great on ball pressure. He really enjoys locking people up and because of his aggressiveness it got others going which made it difficult for them to score.”

Coach Crawford continued his post-game reflections by saying, “We are getting better at running our offense though we still need to get better but there are times they are making great passes and understanding where to be.”

It was a much closer contest in the eighth-grade Junior Pups ‘B’ game as they held on to take a three-point, 32-29, victory over Salina South. While six Junior Pups put points in the scorebook, none hit double digits and they were led by Leyton Witte with eight points and Riley Newboles who hit for seven.

Coach Crawford concluded his reflections on the two games of the day by talking about the ‘B’ game and adding, “Our ‘B’ team has gotten so much better since our first game. They got off to a great start and held on, but their effort has made them improved. To see them get after it on the defensive side of the ball was nice. They ran their offense well and Assistant Coach Grant Barrett has done a great job with them and did a great job during the game as well.”

After the Thanksgiving break the eighth-grade Junior Pups will return to play on Monday, December 2 when they will play host to Hesston.

8th GRADE JUNIOR PUPS ‘A’ TEAM SCORING: Javyn Alexander – 13; Gavin Wedel – 11; Cory Muehler – 7; Kreighton Kanitz – 7; Alex Robertson – 6; Owen Pyle – 3; Henry Boese – 2.

8TH GRADE JUNIOR PUPS ‘B’ TEAM SCORING: Leyton Witte – 8; Riley Newboles – 7; Henry Boese – 6; Kayden Thompson – 6; Owen Fetsch – 4; Jaiden Strickland – 1.

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(Post was SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)