By Staff

            HUTCHINSON – On Monday, the McPherson Middle School seventh and eighth grade girls basketball teams traveled to Hutchinson and came home with a pair of wins for the eighth graders and a split of two games for the eighth-grade girls.

            The seventh-grade Junior Lady Pups won their ‘A’ team game, 43-11 while the ‘B’ team lost 16-34.

            In the eighth-grade battles, McPherson won both handily with the ‘A’ team winning 62-9 and the ‘B’ team getting a 21-4 victory.

            Next up for the seventh- and eighth-grade Junior Lady Pups will be on Thursday when they play host to Salina South Middle School.

            Here is a summary of the Monday games:


            The eighth grade ‘A’ team set the tone for the day by taking a 24-0 lead at the end of the first quarter on their way to a decisive 53-point, 62-9 win over Hutchinson Junior Lady Salthawks.

            “It was such a fun night of basketball,” noted eighth-grade head coach Heidi Ricke. “Our team played exceptional while controlling the game from the very beginning. We played a very well-rounded game as we executed on the offensive side and absolutely dominated the game on the defensive end. The entire team came out ready to play and we had some extra help from the bench this evening who contributed meaningful minutes toward the ‘win’.”

            Both Jaela Thompson and Carmin Pavlovich recorded double doubles with Thompson leading the way with 25 points and making 11 steals while Pavlovich hit for 14 points while swiping 10 steals. As a team the eighth-grade Junior Lady Pups finished the game with 31 steals.

            Pavlovich directed the offense for McPherson by dishing out six assists while Brynn Littlejohn held down the post spot with five rebounds.

            Overall scoring beyond Thompson and Pavlovich were Rylie Whitfield with nine, Littlejohn with six, while both Piper Alvord and Sara Diaz had four,

            Though winning with a lower score, the ‘B’ team dominated Hutchinson with a 21-4 win in a game that only played two quarters due to illness among the Hutchinson team members.

            Riley Holt led the team in scoring with seven points while both Molly Owens and Ari Prose each chipped in with four and the threesome of Sara Diaz, Arrianna Nowell, and MacKaylie Woltje each had two.

            Owens hit double digits in dominating the play under the basket and reaching 10 rebounds. Molly Owens and Arrianna Nowell recorded four and three steals respectively of the teams 17 total.

            Coach Ricke concluded her post game reflections by adding, “IN the ‘B’ game the girls put on a rebounding show by grabbing 15 in just two quarters. Everything finally came together both offensively and defensively as we came up with 17 steals and three assists while only committing five turnovers.”


            Scoring the games first 20 points propelled the eighth grade Junior Lady Pups ‘A’ team to a 43-11 thrashing of the Junior Lady Salthawks. With the win the ‘A’ team remains unbeaten at 5-0.

            Offensively it was a well-balanced attack for McPherson as Audra Sandbo led the team with 10 points while Amerie Lowery hit for nine and the threesome of Jersey Alexander, Kennedy Bonham, and Karlie Cooper each scored eight.

            Sandbo dished out eight assists in directing the offense with Kennedy Bonham being the leader on the boards with eight rebounds. Sandbo and Alexander grabbed six and four rebounds each while Lowery and Alexander made five and four steals, respectively.

            “We came out to play and had good balance and multiple contributors,” explained head coach Matt Sandbo.

            In the ‘B’ game, the Junior Lady Pups fell short in losing 16-34, dropping their season record to 4-3.

            Jaylinn Major topped the team in scoring with six points while Karlie Cooper chipped in with four and three Junior Lady Pups, Eliza Jex, Haleigh Kirkbride, and Kennedy Bonham each had two.

            Coach Sandbo concluded reflections on the two games by noting, “Girls battled through not having some players due to sickness. We had to play tired without subs and it caught up to them a little bit.”

(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at