By Staff

            MCPHERSON – After the 2021-22 season tested the McPherson boys basketball program due to youth and inexperience, the Bullpups rebounded to finished third in the state tournament and will look for that same youth but now with varsity experience to make another run for a state title in 2022-23.

            For the 28th season, Kurt Kinnamon will be the leader of the Bullpup program where he has collected 526 wins to just 114 losses in the first 27 seasons while also picking up 14 top three finishes at a state tournament including four state titles in 19 appearances.

            Assisting Kinnamon on the sidelines will by Dustan Kanitz for the 17th season, Brandt Busse for the eighth year and Paul Reichenberger for his second time round.

            Last season was a bit of an enigma for the Bullpup program and fans as they were just 3-3 at the Christmas break and lost four straight games in February before going on a six-game win streak to finish the season before Andale beat them in the Class 4A state semi-finals. Overall, the team finished 15-10 in 2021-22 while going 7-3 in conference play.

            The one major replacement issue for McPherson will be to find a replacement for Seth Madron who closed out his Bullpup career as the league defensive player of the year and as a first team All Class 4A honoree.

            What the Bullpups do have for the 2022-23 season is four returning starters who combined to produce 32.5 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. Six-foot-four Mason Miller is the lone senior of the four and he averaged 5.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season.

            Three juniors round out the lineup of returning starters, with five-foot-eleven Corey Muehler being the leading scorer of the returnees at 11.9 points per game to go along with , 2.9 rebounds per game as well; six-foot-one Kreighton Kanitz put up 7.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game, and six-foot-one Owen Pyle who scored 6.9  points per game.

            Junior Kyden Thompson and sophomore Gabe Pyle were two returning letter winners that the coaches mentioned will likely battle for the fifth starting spot.

            “This team has athleticism and should be able to play the game at an up-tempo,” pointed out coach Kinnamon during his reflections on the upcoming season. “We will have plenty of varsity experience to start with as all four returning starters were starters in every game last season. Our shooting ability is high as the team is capable of shooting three-point shots at a high percentage while our main weakness will be the lack of overall size due to not having a six-foot-six size player to protect under the basket.”

            Kinnamon concluded his pre-season thoughts by noting, “I expect us to make a run at the league title followed by El Dorado, Circle, Buhler, Augusta, and Mulvane while the top contenders for a possible state title in Class 4A will come from Bishop Miege, Basehor-Linwood, Independence, Paulo and maybe Ottawa.”

            For those looking towards the mid-January McPherson Boys Basketball Invitational, the teams participating this season will include St. James Academy, Topeka Seaman, Wichita East, Blue Valley West, Manhattan, Olathe East, and Shawnee Mission East.

The Bullpup boys will kick off their 2022-23 season on Thursday, December 1 hosting Dodge City in the roundhouse.

The entire 2022-23 season schedule is:

Thursday, Dec 1 > host Dodge City

Tuesday, Dec 6 > at Derby

Friday, Dec 9 > host Andover

Tuesday, Dec 13 > host Buhler

Friday, Dec 16 > at Winfield

Saturday, Dec 17 > at Shawnee Mission Northwest

Friday, Jan 6 > host Circle

Tuesday, Jan 10 > at Augusta

Friday, Jan 13 > host Mulvane

Thursday-Saturday, Jan 19-21 > host the McPherson Invitational

Tuesday, Jan 24 > at Andale

Friday, Feb 3 > at Wichita Collegiate

Tuesday, Feb 7 > host Hays

Friday, Feb 10 > host Winfield

Tuesday, Feb 14 > at Buhler

Friday, Feb 17 > at Circle

Tuesday, Feb 21 > host Augusta

Thursday, Feb 23 > at Mulvane

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