By William for

SALINA – It was a clean sweep road trip on Thursday for the McPherson Middle School eighth-grade Junior Lady Pups basketball teams as both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams scored wins over Salina Lakewood.


The eighth grade Junior Lady Pups ‘A’ team continued their winning ways as they ran their record to 7-0 with a seven-point, 30-23 victory over Salina Lakewood.

Seven Junior Lady Pups put points on the scoreboard and while none hit for double digits, Alex Romero came close with nine.

“We are so proud of the ladies,” noted Head Coach TJ Jackson. “Both games we saw the girls show improvement in so many areas. The girls were looking forward to this game and knew Salina Lakewood would be our first challenge of the season. This was the first time all year we would be behind. We got into foul trouble early, so we had to call on our bench very early and it ended up being a great thing as every single girl that got on the court gave so much to this win. We went into the halftime break down by one, and from there you saw a shift in our ladies.”

Talking about the change in the second half, Coach Jackson continued by saying, “In the second-half we did a better job of eliminating some easy buckets and forced them to take more outside shots. Offensively you saw our girls come alive by being aggressive to the hoop. We only shot 50% from the free throw line, so that hurt us, but it made them play off more and allowed our girls to start to open their game up. We started taking good outside shots, and we finished the game by scoring as many points in the fourth quarter as we did in the second and third quarters combined.”

Coach Jackson concluded his post-game reflections by adding, “The most impressive part might be that we have asked these ladies to add some things and change the way we run some plays, and with limited practice we picked those things up and they were successful because they are smart players and want to work. We know that if we see this type of play from our girls in future games, these ladies are going to be hard to beat. This was the best all-around effort we have had all year.”

8th GRADE JUNIOR LADY PUPS ‘A’ TEAM SCORING (30 total points): Alex Romero – 9; Karter Alvord – 6; Kaya Lowery – 5; Reanna Eilrich – 4; Madi Moors – 3; Eve Malm – 2; Jayla McLeod – 1.


In the eighth-grade Junior Lady Pups ‘B’ game, McPherson scored a six-point victory by beating host Salina Lakewood 36-30.

Jaya McLeod and Kyndall Sandbo led the team in scoring with 13 and 11 points respectively.

‘B’ team Coach Ellie Wingert made a few post-game reflections by saying, “The girls played incredibly hard tonight and came away with a victory. They did a much better job of running through their offense and driving to the hoop. We were tied at halftime and down at the end of the third quarter but were able to come back and score 18 points in the fourth quarter to get the girls a nice win. Every girl contributed to this victory by playing fantastic defense and being aggressive on both ends of the court. We are so proud of how these girls played together as a team tonight.”

8th GRADE JUNIOR LADY PUPS ‘B’ TEAM SCORING (36 total points): Jaya McLeod – 13; Kyndall Sanbo – 11; Myah Davis – 4; Gabriele Mason – 4; Bentley Smith – 2; Kaya Lowery – 2.

The Junior Lady Pups will return to the competitive hardcourt on Monday, December 9 when they travel to Maize South.

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