MCPHERSON — The Goddard girls' timeout 53 seconds into Friday's semifinal game of the McPherson tournament wasn't planned by coach Lee Keller. It was a necessity.
The Lions' defensive game plan entering the game was sound: Come out in a zone defense, packing it in on McPherson's inside players Katelyn Loecker and Sarah Gaeddert. While the two combine to score 23.4 points and 16.2 rebounds, Goddard has players with long arms and quick feet to shut off the passing lanes.
And then 13 seconds in, McPherson junior Tanner Height hit a three-pointer from the right corner.Thirty-eight seconds later, teammate Casyn Buchman hit a three from the left wing.
Just like that, Goddard trailed 6-0, and Keller called that timeout.
Little slowed McPherson, though, as the Bullpups defeated Goddard 64-39 to advance to the title game against Olathe South at 7:15 tonight. Olathe South defeated Beloit 69-40 in the other semifinal.
"I think (McPherson) smacked us in the mouth, and we didn't respond very well," Keller said. "We lost a little confidence. They were shooting lights out. We thought we had to really work on the big girls inside, and they shot lights out."
McPherson's first four field goals were threes, two apiece from Hein and Buchman. At halftime, McPherson had a 35-16 lead and had hit 6 of 8 three-pointers, all from Buchman and Hein.
"It is demoralizing," said Keller, whose top scorer, Kjia Hart, missed the game with the flu. "We got our heads hanging, and then we break down on defense. It's like a snowball effect."
McPherson came into the tournament shooting 31 percent from three-point range. Not bad, but the inside game is clearly the strength — Gaeddert and Loecker each hit 48 percent of their shots. Loecker finished with a game-high 20 points.
"We have two great posts, well, actually, we have five great posts," Buchman said. "It was the perimeter's turn tonight. They had a pretty tough zone. We knew we had to step up and shoot."
McPherson's balance is what makes the Bullpups, winners of 11 straight, so difficult to stop. And that depth. Ashton Bruner came off the bench in the first half and had a blocked shot and converted a three-point play.
"It's a great luxury to have balance, that's for sure," McPherson coach Chris Strathman said.
"Oh my goodness, (they have) a lot of weapons," Keller said. "The two post players are excellent players. Buchman. Hein. Yeah, my goodness, just beautiful strokes. It was their night."
Hein (5-foot-4) had a team-high six rebounds. And while Buchman (five assists) and freshman Abby Pedersen (four assists) distributed the ball well, Gaeddert and Loecker can make a sweet pass, too. Gaeddert did just that with 5:29 to go. That's when she found Loecker on a back-door cut for an easy lay-in.
"It's a great variety, and we have a lot to choose from," Buchman said. "We have a really deep bench, and we're grateful for that."
Hannah Puthoff led Goddard with 10 points and eight rebounds.
McPherson (11-1) 21 14 11 18 — 64 Goddard (8-3) 11 5 13 10 — 39
MCPHERSON: Loving 3, Hein 11, Holle 4, Buchman 12, Regnier 2, Bruner 3, Pedersen 2, Gaeddert 7, Loecker 20. Totals: 22 (8) 12-16 64.
GODDARD: Lee 8, Foss 8, Rausch 5, Zoglman 1, Lindsay 3, Puthoff 10, Keller 4. Totals: 11 (2) 15-20.
Andale 31, Valley Center 30 — Andale's free-throw shooting nearly cost it a victory in a losers bracket game. In the final 1:08, Andale missed the front end of three one-and-ones and missed two other free throws.
Valley Center took advantage and got within one point after a three-pointer by Lindsey Luna with five seconds remaining.
Andale committed another crucial error when the Indians threw a long pass that Emily Rowland couldn't track down before it went out of bounds. That miscue gave Valley Center the ball under its own basket with 4.2 seconds remaining.
Valley Center got the look it wanted, finding Elayna Coleman near the basket on the inbounds pass. Her shot was off, and in a scramble for the loose ball, teammate Meagan Williams couldn't corral the ball long enough to get off a shot.
" (Andale) tried to give it to us a little bit, with the way the game kind of ended," Valley Center coach Daniel Smith said. "We had the opportunity, and it just didn't work out."
Valley Center was led by Madison Wedekind's 16 points, while Andale's Bailey VenJohn and Emily Rowland each came off the bench to score six.
Andale (7-3) 7 6 12 6 — 31 Valley Center (3-9) 14 3 5 8 — 30
ANDALE VenJohn 6, Lies 3, Blasi 5, Hein 2, Rowland 6, Macari 4, Ast 5. Totals: 12 (2) 5-13 31.
VALLEY CENTER: Ma. Wedekind 16, Mo. Wedekind 2, Luna 6, McCormick 2, Coleman 4. Totals: 10 (4) 6-8 30.
Hays 58, Buhler 40 —Buhler had 37 turnovers in its first-round loss on Thursday, and it didn't get much better against Hays. Buhler committed 28 turnovers and will play Valley Center in today's seventh-place game at 2 p.m.
Hays, which will play Andale in the fifth-place game at 3:45, was led by Paige Lundsford's 18 points; teammate Lindsey Schmeidler had 12 rebounds, 11 points.
Buhler's top scorers were Lindy Sasse, Sarah Goertzen, Nichole Walton and Hailey Woodard, all with six points.
Buhler (5-6) 5 14 5 16 — 40 Hays (4-7) 14 12 20 11 — 58
BUHLER: Sasse 6, Winter 1, Patterson 4, Goertzen 6, Dunning 2, Williams 5, Walton 6, Torgerson 4, Woodard 6. Totals: 14 (2) 10-18 40.
HAYS: Lundsford 18, Pfeifer 3, Gagnon 13, Pfannenstiel 6, Bird 2, Ashworth 5, Schmeidler 11. Totals: 23 (2) 10-22 58.
Olathe South 69, Beloit 40
Beloit (6-5) 5 14 11 10 — 40 Olathe South (11-0) 22 24 8 15 — 69
BELOIT: Marozas 11, E. Mealiff 13, Brown 3, Engelbert 6, K. Mealiff 7. Totals: 12 16-30 40.
OLATHE SOUTH: Balcom 17, McKnight 2, White 6, Hugo 12, Knight 15, Rinehart 9, Mgbike 8. Totals: 31 (5) 2-5 69.