The McPherson boys pulled out a come-from-behind win over Augusta on Tuesday night in a thriller. McPherson fought back and came out with a 53-50 win on the road at Augusta High School.
The Orioles looked dominant in the first quarter, holding the Bullpups to just four points.
With a 10-4 lead after the first quarter, Augusta’s Blake Altenhofen did a phenomenal job of holding McPherson’s leading scorer, Jake Alexander, to just two points in the first half. The rest of the Bullpups were able to step up as McPherson fought back to cut the Augusta lead to 27-23 at the half. Augusta junior Zach Davidson was forced to watch much of the second quarter from the bench due to some early foul trouble. With the Orioles’ 6’ 7” rim protector on the bench, the Bullpups were able to get back into the game and make it a two-possession game at the half.
Augusta held on to their lead throughout the third quarter, but McPherson’s Jake Alexander got a steal and turned it into an easy dunk on the other end to cut Augusta’s lead to one at the end of the third quarter.
McPherson quickly took their first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter when Jake Alexander knocked down a three. After four straight points by McPherson junior Cody Stufflebean, the Bullpups led 40-34.
In the closing minutes, missed free throws continued to haunt the Orioles, but some key turnovers kept them in the game. With one minute left, Augusta senior Jaren Jackson knocked down a clutch three to cut McPherson’s lead to 51-48. After a pair of missed free throw by both teams, August had the chance to tie the game. After a missed shot, Zach Davidson gathered an offensive rebound and made the layup to make it 51-50 with 4.4 seconds left. After a quick foul, McPherson sophomore Max Alexander knocked down two free throws to put McPherson back up by 3 with 3.3 second left. Augusta attempted a long pass down to the other end of the court in order to get off a decent shot, but McPherson was able to tip the ball and the clock ran out as the Bullpups celebrated the hard-fought road win.
The Orioles struggled at the free throw line all night and finished with just six made free throws on 19 attempts.
Augusta’s Jaren Jackson led the Orioles with 13 points. Blake Altenhofen was also in double figures with 11 points. Zac Burton finished with nine.
McPherson was led by Max Alexander with 19 points. Cody Stufflebean finished with 11 points, and Jake Alexander added nine.
Augusta falls to 4-3 and will host Winfield (1-6) on Friday, Jan. 11.
McPherson improves to 5-3 and has now won five straight after an 0-3 start. The Bullpup victory marks the 500th career win for head coach Kurt Kinnamon, who has lost just 98 games in that time. McPherson will host El Dorado (2-6) on Friday as they work for their sixth straight victory.