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NEWTON – The McPherson Middle School eighth-grade boys basketball teams closed out their pre-Christmas schedule by splitting a pair of games on the road on Thursday at Newton.


In the eighth-grade Junior Pups ‘A’ team game, they remained unbeaten at 6-0 by blasting Newton by 25-points, 57-32.

Javyn Alexander had a huge game by putting 20 points in the scorebook while Kreighton Kanitz chipped in with double digits as well as he had 14. Eight different Junior Pups put points by their name in the scorebook by the end of the battle.

“The first time we played Newton they played us in a two-three zone and we really did not shoot well against it,” noted Junior Pup Head Coach Jay Crawford. “So, I prepared the team to face that zone again, but they came out man-to-man to our surprise and once we settled down and moved the ball from side to side, we were able to get downhill and score.”

Speaking of the defense, Coach Crawford continued, “Once again our defense was set by Javyn Alexander, who gave great on ball pressure and it allowed us to get some steals which helped us get into the open court. The players are really buying in on playing good team defense and doing it with a toughness while doing it. We also did a great job of getting those 50-50 balls which really shows how tough we are. As hard as the players play, I knew we had to build a bench that would allow us to keep our defensive pressure going and we have, and they are helping us wear teams down.

Coach Crawford concluded his post-game reflections by saying, “We had eight players score and I like seeing that, it makes us a much better team. I am very proud of how hard this team plays and how they play with a chip on their shoulder. This team averages 52 points a game and only gives up 29, to have those numbers in a 24-minute game is really good.”


The eighth-grade Junior Pups ‘B’ team finished the first half of their season at 4-2 after they lost a heart breaking, two-point, 26-24, game in overtime on Thursday to Newton.

Only five players scored in the game led by Alex Wheat, Leyton Witte and Kyden Thompson who each put six points in the scorebook.

“We knew going to Newton was going to be a battle after facing them at home just a couple of weeks ago,” explained ‘B’ team Coach Grant Barrett in his post-game reflections. “We had a small lead going into the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to be comfortable with. Newton did a good job of changing up defenses late in the fourth and during overtime and were able to get in our passing lanes. This was the first time this season we could see what we are made of. I love seeing our guys compete and work hard, unfortunately tonight the ball just didn’t bounce our way at the end.”


After what will be a two week plus holiday break, the eighth-grade Junior Pups will get back to competition basketball on Monday, January 6, when they travel to Salina to battle with Salina Lakewood.

8th GRADE JUNIOR PUPS ‘A’ TEAM SCORING (57 total points): Javyn Alexander – 20; Kreighton Kanitz – 14; Owen Pyle – 6; Corey Muehler – 6; Gavin Wedel – 4; Alex Robertson – 3; Henry Boese – 2; Kyden Thompson – 2.

A-Team Won 57-32

8TH GRADE JUNIOR PUPS ‘B’ TEAM SCORING (24 total points): Alex Wheat – 6; Leyton Witte – 6; Kyden Thompson – 6; Madden Luttig – 4; Conor Eickbush – 2.


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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)