Circle senior Jude Warren scored at will from start to finish on Friday night, setting a new Circle single-game scoring record with 50 points in a 81-65 victory over McPherson. Warren’s efficiency was nearly as impressive as his point total, as he shot 80% from the field (16-for-20) and finished 13-for-19 from the free throw line. 50 points is impressive against any opponent, but it is especially impressive against McPherson— one of the state’s most storied basketball programs.

“Jude is a very good player and I am so happy to see all of his hard work pay off for him,” said Circle head coach Bo Horyna.

“He is a great example of a player who wants to be good and is willing to put in the time to improve his game. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to coach some very good players and coach against some very good players, and he is up there with the best that I have seen in my 30-plus years of coaching.”

Horyna is pleased with the T-Birds level of play as the regular season is coming to an end.

“It is very encouraging to see us playing well near the end of the season. I felt this team could be really good when we starting clicking on all cylinders. We played good solid man to man defense, got key rebounds when we needed to, and ran really good offense most of the night.”

McPherson took an early lead, but the Thunderbirds came storming back and tied the game at 10. By the end of the first quarter, both teams had 14.

In the second quarter, Warren scored 14 to bring his first-half total to 21. Matt Hromek also knocked down two threes in the quarter, as the T-Birds took a 36-31 lead into the locker room at the half.

In the third quarter, the T-Birds continued to build on their lead. Warren scored 14 more in the third quarter, and Circle took a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter.

McPherson tried to play catch-up, but the T-Birds continued to pour it on and outscored the Bullpups for the third straight quarter to secure the victory.

Prior to Friday night, McPherson had not lost to Circle since 2013.

Matt Hromek and Eli Jacobson were both in double figures for the T-Birds. Hormek hit four threes to finish with 12 points, while Jacobson scored 11 points

McPherson was led by Cody Stufflebean with 21 points. Jake Alexander added 15, and Max Alexander finished with 14.