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Photo by Cindy Dell Kinnamon

Photo by Cindy Dell Kinnamon

Photo by Cindy Dell Kinnamon

Heidi Myers, Co-Editor

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Once again, the Bullpups did not disappoint.

On Thursday January 19th the McPherson High School open up their doors for the McPherson Invitational Tournament. Eight teams traveled to the Roundhouse for this long three day tournament. The teams were Maize, Mill Valley, Shawnee Mission East, Wichita-Heights, Blue Valley West, Manhattan, Hutchinson, and McPherson.

The Bullpups knew that facing such strong teams would be challenge so they took time to prepare before the tournament.

“To prepare for the tournament we took extra time to go over scouting reports so we could have a good idea of who we were playing against. Coach K is really good at getting us ready for who we are matching up against,” said junior Mason Alexander.

For the first round of the tournament, the McPherson Bullpups faced a strong Shawnee Mission East. With the score of 69-55, the boys advanced to the top half of the bracket to face the number one seed, Maize. The determined Pups set goals to motivate and push themselves to do what it takes to be the better team.

“Our goal, as a team, was to use the tournament as a momentum change for the season. We went into the tournament with a 6-4 record, and we knew we were a better team than that,” said M. Alexander. “My personal goal was to do whatever it took to win it all because I knew it would be huge for us.”

The strong Maize team, put up a battle against the Pups the number four seed leading the game in three of the four quarters of the game. The Pups showed everyone exactly who they were by pushing themselves to pull ahead of Maize to win the game 79-73. The next thing the Pups knew they were on their way to the championship match Saturday night against Manhattan.

“When stepping on the court for the championship game, my initial thought was how awesome it was that we have a great community that fully supports our team, and fills the stands. Then I knew it was just time to take care of business,” said M. Alexander.

The Pups did exactly that, they took care of business. Finishing off the championship game 66-56, the crowd, student section, and team cheer of their great accomplishment. Three McPherson players were selected to be on the All-Tournament team. The boys selected were Jake Alexander, Mason Alexander, and Ben Pyle. Ben Pyle, just like his brother Drew, was voted MVP Tournament Player.

When asked about someone who he looks up to, M. Alexander answers. “A few people come to mind. I constantly workout with Coach Tony Romero for Central Christian College. He always has great advice and knowledge for the game. Also my dad has helped me tremendously throughout my basketball career because he’s lived it all before, and he helps guide me through it all.”

After a hard-working three days of basketball, the boys will turn around and face a 5A team, Newton on Tuesday, January 24th. Then the boys will be in the stands cheering on the Lady Pups while they take their turn at the Women’s McPherson Invitational Tournament.

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