MCPHERSON GIRLS BASKETBALL REPLACES AND RELOADS!

By William for www.mcpherson-county-ks.com

MCPHERSON – When most teams loose five valuable seniors they look to rebuild, for the McPherson High girls’ basketball team, they simply look to reload and redirect for another run at a possible state title.

For the upcoming 2019-20 season, the Lady Bullpups will look to replace three starters and two top reserves in order to reach a level beyond last years fourth place finish at the Class 5A state tournament.

Lady Bullpup Head Coach Chris Strathman does not have an empty cupboard as he still returns four seniors who have already signed to play collegiately for either basketball or volleyball, plus three highly experienced juniors and five sweet sophomores, as they aim for their 23rd AVCTL title in the past 26 years and maybe even the teams tenth state championship.

Here is our look ahead at the 2019-20 McPherson Lady Bullpup basketball program:

WHO DOES NOT RETURN THIS SEASON?

  • Three-year starter Riley Hett who also earned KBCA Academic All-State honors.
  • Two-year starter Hannah Hageman who also earned KBCA Academic All-State honors.
  • Starter Maggie Leaf who also earned KBCA Academic All-State honors.
  • Jaycee Burghart who also earned KBCA Academic All-State honors.
  • Megan Eisenbarth who also earned KBCA Academic All-State honors.

WHO DOES RETURN?

  • Lakyn Schieferecke, a five-foot-eight senior guard who has already signed to play basketball in 2020-21 for Washburn University.
  • Andrea Sweat, a six-foot-one senior forward who has already signed to play basketball in 2020-21 for Washburn University.
  • Emma Ruddle, a five-foot-eight senior guard who has already signed to play basketball in 2020-21 for Fort Hays State University.
  • Cassie Cooks, a five-foot-eight senior forward who has signed to play volleyball in 2020-21 for Graceland University.
  • Grace Pyle, a five-foot-nine junior guard.
  • Kassidy Beam, a five-foot-six junior guard.
  • Emma Malm, a five-foot-three junior guard.

NEWCOMER(S) THAT MAY SEE PLAYING TIME?

  • Morgan Howard, a five-foot-nine sophomore forward.
  • Lauren Labertew, a five-foot-six sophomore guard.
  • Cameron Pelzel, a five-foot-eight sophomore forward.
  • Ella Schmid, a five-foot-five sophomore guard.
  • Emily Whorton, a five-foot-eight sophomore forward.

WHAT DOES COACH CHRIS STRATHMAN BRING TO THE BENCH?

  • Lady Bullpup Head Coach Chris Strathman is beginning his 15th season as the Head Coach although he has been a member of the girls’ basketball staff now for 25 seasons overall.
  • In 2018-19, the Lady Bullpups under Coach Strathman finished 21-3 overall and a perfect 10-0 in AVCTL Division III games.
  • The Lady Bullpups under Coach Strathman also finished 4th at the Class 5A state tournament.
  • Coach Strathman is 280-55 overall as head coach with a league record of 133-8 while also going 45-12 in post-season play.
  • Coach Strathman led teams have won the past 12 consecutive league championships and 22 of the past 25.
  • The Lady Bullpup program have been state champions nine times, including seven of which Coach Strathman has been a part of.
  • The Lady Bullpup assistant coaches are Katelyn Loecker, Shelly Prescott, and Tim Ellet.

WHAT COACH CHRIS STRATHMAN SAYS ABOUT THE UPCOMING 2019-20 LADY BULLPUP SEASON?

  • Coach Strathman acknowledges the Lady Bullpups missing from the 2018-19 season by saying, “We lose three girls that started for us a majority of last season in Riley Hett, Hannah Hageman and Maggie Leaf, as well as two keep reserves with Jaycee Burghart and Megan Eisenbarth. All five were great workers and team leaders as well as being KBCA Academic All-State honorees.”
  • Looking toward how last season reflects on the new season, Coach Strathman notes, “Expectations remain high as we enter the 2019-20 season. We return several key players from last year’s team that placed fourth in the Class 5A state tournament when we lost that very tight game to St. Thomas Aquinas in the semifinals. That loss is why our girls are hungry to get back to state and hopefully get to play in the state final game this season.”
  • When asked about the toughest component facing the returnees and newcomers for the new season, Coach Strathman said, “We did graduate five seniors of which three were normally starters for us and all five were excellent students and leaders on and off the floor. They will be very difficult to replace as all they truly cared about as a group was winning and doing things the right way, the Lady Bullpup way.”
  • Looking at the schedule ahead for 2019-20, Coach Strathman concluded his reflections by saying, “We will have a loaded non-league schedule, which should prepare us well for our post-season. Our non-league schedule is filled with teams that will be very good tests, including both Andover teams, Derby, Dodge City, Kansas City Piper, Andale and Wichita Collegiate. We also expect to see some excellent teams at our Mid-America Classic in January.”

WHEN DOES THE LADY BULLPUP SEASON BEGIN?

The McPherson Lady Bullpup basketball team will tipoff their 2019-20 season on Friday, December 6, at home when they play host to Andover.

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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)