By William

SALINA – Returning to the competitive hardwood for the first time in their 2020 side of the schedule, the McPherson Middle School 8th grade boys basketball teams went on the road Monday to Salina and came home with a split of two games against host Salina Lakewood.

The ‘A’ team dismantled Salina Lakewood, 47-14, while the ‘B’ team fell short in a 30-16 loss.


In the ‘A’ game, the 8th grade Junior Pups remained unbeaten on the season at 7-0 as they overwhelmed and dismantled Salina Lakewood on their way to a 33-point, 47-14, victory.

“The first time we played Lakewood they really pushed the ball on us before we could set our defense and it took us a half to stop them,” noted 8th grade Junior Pup Head Coach Jay Crawford. “So, once we got our defense set, they struggled against it, so I was proud of how we came out and played with energy and got after them on the defensive end. We really put pressure on them and pushed their offense off their sets.”

Javyn Alexander had a huge game as he put 15 points in the scorebook while Cory Muehler joined him in double digits with 10 as eight different Junior Pups put points in the basket for the evening.

Coach Crawford continued talking up the defensive work by saying, “This team has really bought into guarding and we can still get better. The effort in which they play with was really great to see. Also nice is seeing them play together. They are working hard at doing the things that our high school team does and they are getting better at it. We are getting better and they refuse to allow any team to play harder than they do.”

Concluding his post-game reflections, Coach Crawford added, “In practice I am always telling them to do things the ‘BULLPUP WAY’ and we are doing it and it shows up in our games. I told them in the locker room after the game that the best complement a coach can receive is when someone tells them their team plays hard and both of the Lakewood coaches said they liked how hard our team played and how much effort and energy they played with. We just call it the ‘BULLPUP WAY’ of doing it.”

‘B’ TEAM LOSSES BY 14!        

While the ‘A’ team blew the host team off the court, the 8th grade Junior Pup ‘B’ team struggled and fell behind early and were never able to catch up in taking a 14-point, 30-16, loss to Salina Lakewood.

Alex Robertson was the top scorer for the ‘B’ team with five points.

The loss drops the ‘B’ teams season mark to just 4-3.

“We knew that Salina Lakewood was going to be excited to start the new year off in front of their home fans,” commented ‘B’ team Coach Grant Barrett. “So, it was important for us to get off to a good start and unfortunately the ball didn’t bounce our way and we got behind early 10-2. We weren’t ready for their length and ball pressure that they applied which made us uncomfortable and then we would turn the ball over. The baskets went back and forth, and we never seemed to be able to overcome the quick deficit from the opening minutes of the game.”


The 8th grade Junior Pups will return to the hardwood for competitive action on Thursday when they will play host to Salina South.

8TH GRADE JUNIOR PUPS ‘A’ TEAM SCORING (47 total points): Javyn Alexander – 15; Cory Muehler – 10; Gavin Wedel – 5; Henry Boese – 5; Owen Pyle – 5; Kyden Thompson – 3; Kreighton Kanitz – 2; Alex Wheat – 2.

8TH GRADE JUNIOR PUPS ‘B’ TEAM SCORING (16 total points): Alex Robertson – 5; Maddie Luttig – 4; Gavin Wedel – 4; Henry Boese – 2; Alex Wheat – 1.

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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)