MCPHERSON – It was a busy final week of the 2022 season for the McPherson Middle School seventh-grade girls basketball team as they won four straight games to finish the season unbeaten at 12-0 while also winning the league championship.
On Monday, December 5 and Thursday, December 8 the 7th grade Junior Lady Pups closed out their regular season schedule with a sweep of two games on the road at Salina South (38-7, 21-15) followed by a pair of wins at home against rival Hutchinson (40-5, 23-20).
In the semifinals of the Wichita Suburban League tournament on Saturday in Salina, the Junior Lady Pups blasted Hutchinson (42-4) for the second time in three days before defeating Salina South (37-18) in the league championship game on Monday, finishing the season unbeaten at 12-0.
Here is a summary of all the weeks action:
Monday, December 5 – at Salina South
The 7th grade Junior Pups began their final week of play on Monday, December 5 going on the road and hammering Salina South in the ‘A’ game by 31-points, 38-7.
Both Amerie Lowery and Audra Sandbo led the offensive attack with 15 and 11 points, respectively. Sandbo led the team in steals with eight and assists by dishing out five while Lowery swiped seven steals.
Both Karlie Cooper and Jersey Alexander shared the team leadership role in the paint with each grabbing six rebounds while Kennedy Bonham had five plus three blocked shots.
‘A’ Team Individual Stats: Amerie Lowery – 15 points, 7 steals; Audra Sandbo – 11 points, 8 steals, 5 assists; Karly Cooper – 6 points, 6 rebounds; Jersey Alexander – 4 points, 6 rebounds 3 steals; Kennedy Bonham – 2 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocked shots.
While not in a dominating fashion, the 7th grade ‘B’ team also scored a win by defeating Salina South 23-15 led by Jaylinn Major with 10 points.
‘B’ Team Individual Scoring: Jaylinn Major – 10; Karlie Cooper – 8; Kennedy Bonham – 3; Rut Diaz Chay – 2.
Thursday, December 8 – hosting Hutchinson
By blasting Hutchinson on the home court by 35 points, 40-5, the 7th grade ‘A’ team closed out their regular season unbeaten at 10-0.
Karlie Cooper and Audra Sandbo led the game in scoring with 13 and 11 points each while Sandbo also led the team in assists with seven, steals with seven and tied for the team lead in rebounds with Kennedy Bonham as they both grabbed six.
“We came out with really good energy and had a great first quarter,” pointed out 7th grade head coach Matt Sandbo. “Jersey (Alexander) did a fantastic job guarding and denying their top player the ball and didn’t let her get going.”
‘A’ Team Individual Stats: Karlie Cooper – 13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals; Audra Sandbo – 11 points, 7 assists, 7 steals, 6 rebounds; Amerie Lowery – 9 points, 3 assists, 3 steals; Kennedy Bonham – 5 points, 6 rebounds; Jersey Alexander – 2 points, 5 steals.
The 7th grade ‘B’ team closed out their season with a three-point, 23-20 win over Hutchinson, giving them a final mark of 7-5.
Allison Randa led the team in scoring with 16.
“Good year for the ‘B’ team,” said coach Sandbo. “They improved each week in a lot of areas and were able to play a lot of minutes. Allison (Randa) and Rut (Diaz Chay) were a force defensively. Jaylinn (Major) may have made the most improvements of anyone from the start of the season to the end.”
‘B’ Team Individual Scoring: Allison Randa – 16; Jaylinn Major – 7.
Saturday, December 10 – League Tournament in Salina
Playing Hutchinson for the second time in three days, the 7th grader Junior Lady Pups opened up their play in the Wichita Suburban League Tournament in Salina with another hammering of Hutchinson, this time winning by 38, 42-4.
Amerie Lowery led the team in scoring with 21 while Kennedy Bonham was unstoppable in the paint as she pulled down a whopping 16 rebounds. Lowery also topped the team in steals with seven.
According to coach Sandbo, “Jersey (Alexander) and Audra (Sandbo) did a great job guarding their number one player again, holding her to just two points. Amerie (Lowery) was able to get to the basket and finish. We did a solid job of rebounding the ball led by Kennedy (Bonham).
7th Grade Junior Lady Pups Individual Stats: Amerie Lowery – 21 points, 7 steals; Kennedy Bonham – 8 points, 16 rebounds; Karlie Cooper – 6 points, 2 assists; Audra Sandbo – 5 points, 6 rebounds, 6 steals; Jersey Alexander – 2 points, 5 rebounds.
Monday, December 12 – League Tournament in Salina
On Monday, the 7th grade Junior Lady Pups joined the 8th grade girls and gave McPherson a clean sweep of the league titles by scoring a 19-point, 37-18 victory over Salina South.
With the win the 7th grade Junior Lady Pups also finished the season 12-0!!
Karlie Cooper and Jersey Alexander both reached double digits in the scorebook by leading the team in scoring with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Cooper also topped the team in rebounds with eight while Kennedy Bonham grabbed six. Audra Sandbo led the offense by dishing out eight assists.
“This was a rough, physical game,” said coach Sandbo. “Foul trouble in the first half limited our ability to pressure. Salina South put the triangle and two on Amerie (Lowery) and Audra (Sandbo) until late in the game. Jersey (Alexander) and Karlie (Cooper) stepped up and really shot the ball well.”
7th Grade Junior Lady Pups Individual Stats: Karlie Cooper – 13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals; Jersey Alexander – 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals; Amerie Lowery – 8 points, 6 steals; Audra Sandbo – 3 points, 8 assists, 6 steals, 6 rebounds; Kennedy Bonham – 2 points, 6 rebounds.
Coach Sandbo concluded his post-tournament and post-season reflections by adding, “The girls did a nice job of playing together and sharing the ball this year. To have five girls on the court at any given time that could put the ball in the basket was a huge luxury. Having a coach like Josh (Alexander) who has such a high understanding of the game was big too. We both look forward to next season with this group.”
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)