MCPHERSON – In four games this week the McPherson Middle School 8th grade boys basketball teams went 3-1 with a pair of wins over Newton on Monday before splitting two games with Salina Lakewood on Thursday.
The 8th grade ‘A’ team is now 3-1 for the season with their pair of wins while the ‘B’ team is even at 2-2 for the season.
Next up for the 8th grade boys will be a pair of home games on Monday against Hutchinson before traveling to Salina South on Thursday. The ‘B’ team will also get a two-game tournament on Saturday at Goddard Eisenhower.
On Thursday, the 8th grade Junior Pups ‘A’ team scored a hard fought, three-point, 42-39 win over Salina Lakewood as Ashton Malm poured in 18 points while Cole Cooper chipped in with 13 as only four Junior Pups scored in the game.
“We played Salina Lakewood for the second time in just 11 days,” pointed out head coach Tyler Brown. “That always makes for a tough matchup playing them that early again. Our defense was tremendous the first half holding them to just seven points. But Lakewood found their rhythm in the third quarter by putting up 14 points. Ashton Malm was huge for us as whenever the game got close, he was always ready to answer Lakewood’s run to keep things going for us offensively. Cole Cooper also had a couple of timely three-pointers in the second half that gave us a boost. Even though Ashton and Cole had big nights for us, I wouldn’t say we necessarily shot the ball as well as we can as a team.”
In the ‘B’ game with Salina Lakewood, the Junior Pups lost a four-point heartbreaker, 30-26. Nolan Pearcy was the lone Junior Pup to reach double digits with 13.
According to ‘B’ team coach Goerzen, “It was a close game and our kids played hard. Unfortunately, we made a few more mistakes than they did. I love the fact that we can go deep into our bench and still maintain a solid team on the floor. We just need to fine tune a few things and we will have a chance to really compete in every game.”
8th Grade ‘A’ Team won 42-39 over Salina Lakewood
‘A’ Team Scoring > Ashton Malm – 18; Cole Cooper – 13; Carter Bengston – 7; Matt Burger – 4.
8th Grade ‘B’ Team lost 30-26 to Salina Lakewood
‘B’ Team Scoring > Nolan Pearcy – 13; Bo Barkley – 5; Will Domingo – 4; Ben Bocox – 2; Javonte Body – 2.
On Monday the 8th grade Junior Pups scored a pair of wins over Newton.
The ‘A’ team scored a decisive 16-point, 43-27 win led by Cole Cooper with 10 points while Ashton Malm and Matt Burger just missed double digits with nine and eight points, respectively as eight Junior Pups scored in the game.
“It was nice to get a win for our first home game of the season,” said head coach Tyler Brown. “This team did a great job of holding their opponent to under 30 points tonight. If we can continue to do that defensively this team will pile up some wins. Ashton (Malm) and Cole (Cooper) were their consistent selves again as they seem to always be good for double figures. But not only did they score for us, they also did a great job spreading the ball around helping six other players find the box score for themselves. We have a team that can impose their will on you because it doesn’t seem like it takes teams long to get out of their man-to-man defense and go into a zone. We have a handful of shooters that can make them pay if they do go to zone and when we move the ball and execute our stuff, it hopefully won’t matter what teams will run and we will hopefully have an answer for it.”
In the ‘B’ game with Newton, eight Junior Pups put points on the scoreboard in earning their nine-point, 30-21 victory.
While eight players scored, Will Domingo led the Junior Pups with seven points and Nolan Pearcy had five.
According to ‘B’ team coach Goerzen, “The guys played well as we got some great turnovers and were able to convert those into points. I think the guys are starting to settle in. We are becoming more familiar with our offensive plays and schemes which is allowing us to not think too much, and giving us a chance to just play ball.”
8th Grade ‘A’ Team won 43-27 over Newton.
‘A’ Team Scoring > Cole Cooper – 10; Ashton Malm – 9; Matt Burger – 8; Cru Buchman – 6; Carter Bengston – 3; Dane Becker – 3; Jonas Emery – 2; Jayvonte Body – 2.
8th Grade ‘B’ Team won 30-21 over Newton.
‘B’ Team Scoring > Will Domingo – 7; Nolan Pearcy – 5; Jonas Emery – 4; Dane Becker – 4; Jayden Batson – 3; Jayvonte Body – 3; Hunter Eilrich – 2; Ben Bocox – 2.
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)