By William

CLAY CENTER – The trip north to Clay Center on Tuesday did go well for the McPherson Middle School 8th grade boys basketball teams as both the ‘A’ team and ‘B’ team suffered close game losses.

It was also the first loss of the season for the ‘A’ team.

Next up for the 8th grade Junior Pups will be hosting Derby North on Thursday.

Game summaries are as follows:


SCORE: Clay Center 39, JUNIOR PUPS 32


Gabe Pyle – 11, Brody Seidl – 6, Ian Razak – 6, Carter Allen – 5, Bishop Brown – 2, Brenden Doile – 2.

The 8th grade Junior Pups ‘A’ team knew going into Clay Center would be tough as the 8th grade Tiger football and basketball teams had lost maybe just one game in four years, but the Junior Pups fought hard and battled to the end before losing 39-32.

The loss was the first for the ‘A’ team as they are now 2-1 for the season.

“We knew going into this game we would have our hands full with a loaded class from Clay Center,” explained 8th grade Junior Pup Head Coach Tyler Brown. “With that said, you never want to be the next team on the schedule against a team like that, but I did feel like we had terrific intensity and effort, we just struggled to execute. With them playing a box and one for a good chunk of time, we just seemed out of sink and could not get going offensively.”

The Junior Pups ‘A’ team was led in scoring by Gabe Pyle who hit for 11 points while both Brody Seidl and Ian Razak chipped in with six.

Coach Brown concluded his reflections by adding, “When you play teams that are as good as Clay Center you also hope to have a game where your team shoots the ball well and we were just off tonight and not only struggled to hit three-pointers, but we also couldn’t finish a layup which was devastating to watch. When we miss three point-blank layups in a row in one possession it just was not meant to be our day tonight. But with all that said, we only lost by seven points to an outstanding team.”


SCORE: Clay Center 34, JUNIOR PUPS 32


Jaxson Malvo – 14, Brenden Doile – 11, Brandon Western – 4, Kaven Byrd – 2, Logan Peterson – 1.

It was a much closer game for the 8th grade Junior Pups ‘B’ team as they lost by just one basket, 34-32 to drop to 0-3 for the season.

Not making any excuses, ‘B’ team Coach TJ Jackson pointed out, “We were down three players and even with that against us, the boys played hard the whole game.”

Two players who had solid games for the Junior Pups ‘B’ team were Jaxson Malvo and Brenden Doile as they connected for 14 and 11 points, respectively.

“We needed a quicker start to the game if we wanted it to be closer for the remainder,” added Coach Jackson. “But the boys kept fighting back and making a solid effort. Improvement from our last game was obvious again, and Clay Center was a good opponent to show just that as they were a solid ‘B’ team. Proud of the boys and their effort.”

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