The student news site of McPherson High School

The High Life

The student news site of McPherson High School

The High Life

The student news site of McPherson High School

The High Life

McPherson boys basketball, the tradition starts here

McPherson won MIT after 6 years Credit: sportsinkansa

Basketball for McPherson has always been a big deal. Last weekend, January 17, 18 and 20, the McPherson basketball team played at the McPherson invitational. This past tournament was the 60th Annual McPherson Invitational Tournament.

There is a lot of history behind it. Every year for 60 years the tournament has taken place in the Roundhouse. However, this year was particularly nice for the Bullpups since they won this tournament for the first time since 2018.

At this year’s MIT (McPherson Invitational Tournament), eight teams participated: Blue Valley, Derby, Hutchinson, Lawrence Free State, St. James Academy, Topeka Seaman, Wichita-Bishop Carroll and McPherson.

“I particularly love this tournament,” said Paul Reichenberger, the assistant coach of the varsity team. “It is an opportunity to play against schools that are bigger than us and for our team to get better. It provides an opportunity to play teams that we might play later in the season as well.” 

According to Reichenberger the MIT helps to develop character since they play a lot of teams that play different styles of basketball. The team can learn a lot about itself.

McPherson had the possibility to play against bigger schools. The Bullpups were the only school class 4A of the tournament, with the fewest students enrolled (699). 

The MIT meant a lot to the team. The guys were feeling a little bit of pressure, “Before every game we always feel a little bit of pressure, especially before the championship,” said Gabe Pyle.

Pyle is a Junior and he has been playing basketball his whole life. “I’m the youngest of five siblings and I grew up in the gym watching them play basketball,” he said. 

Pyle won the MVP prize for the first time. He was very excited but he was not completely surprised because he knew he played a good tournament. “The championship game was the best game, I scored 27 points,” said Pyle. 

 This team has a lot of seniors so for them it was the last possibility to win the MIT. “The guys really wanted to win, they didn’t want to waste their last chance,” said Reichenberger. 

The first game, though, wasn’t very good. The team still won but they didn’t play good basketball. “We didn’t play Bullpups basketball but the guys did a great job to forget about it and start playing how they know,” said proud Reichenberger.

According to Pyle, the biggest difference that led the team to win was the ability to concretize. “Last year we were a good team and played well but this year we were able to take the next step and win the tournament,” said Pyle.

The coaches prepared the tournament very well, watching films and scouting the opposing teams. According to Reichenberger the hard part is that the tournament is three days in a row so there is no time to practice.

The key to be successful is to have a great preparation, take one game at a time and play as a team. “It was a great team effort,” said Pyle. “We played our basketball and it happened to be the best team.”

McPherson won the championship game as a team. Only in the first half the Bullpups scored 51 points, against the 14’s of Hutchinson. “After the first half of the championship, we knew that we were going to win. We were so happy,” exclaimed Pyle.

At the end, McPherson won the 60th MIT with a dominating 78-42 victory. “All the coaches were extremely proud of the team. We’ve always had full faith that the guys could win” said Reichenberger happily. The title of the MIT stayed in the Roundhouse after 6 years.

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About the Contributor
Chiara Lovadina, Journalist
Chiara is a Junior and this is her first year of journalism. Chiara is an exchange and she is from Italy. Chiara plays volleyball at McPherson High School and she is involved in the International Club and KAY Club.