Varsity Kansas

Unbeaten Andale tops Southeast at McPherson tourney

Growing up with four brothers and a junior high basketball coach as a father, Andale sophomore Brittany Meyer has been told a clear message every time she leaves for the gym.

“Don’t play like a girl,” Meyer recites from memory. “You can’t play weak. You go out there every game and you play with a toughness.”

That kind of mentality has fit right in for Andale, which continued its undefeated season Thursday with a 60-41 victory over Southeast in the first round of the Mid America Classic behind a brilliant line from Meyer: 18 points, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals.

The fact she’s leading an unbeaten team in scoring (17.1 points) as a sophomore, and a 5-foot-3 one at that, does not come as a surprise to those around Meyer.

From third grade until high school, Meyer tagged along to her father’s middle school practices in St. John. She ran the sprints, did the drills and learned how to score against taller players.

Andale has built its reputation around defense driven by seniors. That structure was threatened with Meyer’s arrival, but the sophomore has melded flawlessly with the upperclassmen.

“When we step out on the court, it doesn’t matter what age we are,” Meyer said. “We all have the same goal.”

Southeast trailed 11-10 near the end of the first quarter, then Andale outscored it 22-7 to end the half. Southeast never challenged the lead again. Cheyenne Bullock finished with 14 points and eight rebounds.

“It wasn’t until toward the end when we decided to start playing Southeast basketball,” coach Dee Dee Williams said.

But this season Andale’s brand of basketball has been superior in an 11-0 start.

“I think even our coach (Mark Kerschen) has been surprised a little bit,” senior Emily Rowland said. “It hasn’t surprised us at all, though.”

Kerschen still has his doubts, but those could be put to rest Friday against Manhattan (9-2) in the semifinals.

“We haven’t really been hit in the mouth yet,” Kerschen said. “That’s when you find out how good you really are, how you respond to a situation like that.”

Manhattan 48, Valley Center 44 — Not even a season-high 19 points from Meagan Williams could rescue the Hornets from a lethargic start.

Valley Center doubled its first-half total (16) in the third quarter and slashed Manhattan’s 14-point lead to two early in the fourth quarter, but the go-ahead basket never materialized.

“We had a mental focus that’s just absolutely required to be successful,” Valley Center coach Daniel Smith said of his team’s rally. “The focus was there, the energy was there and that just started steamrolling. What was missing in the beginning was our approach.”

Williams was the lone source of points at times for the Hornets (6-4), who play Southeast 3 p.m. Friday in the consolation bracket.

“You do use a lot of energy and emotion just to get back into the game,” Smith said. “But, bottom line, we just didn’t get the job done.”

Manhattan (9-2) played without its leading scorer Elayna Spiker and was led in scoring by Carolina Ballard with 14 points.

McPherson 68, Hays 28 — The Bullpups advanced to a semifinal showdown against undefeated Olathe South, 67-35 winners over Dodge City in the first round.

“They definitely wanted the opportunity to have that marquee-type matchup (Friday night),” McPherson coach Chris Strathman said. “I think that’s what everybody wanted, but we had to take care of business for that to happen and we did.”

McPherson made more than half of its shots and had double-digit efforts from Katelyn Loecker (17 points, six rebounds, three blocks) and Abby Pedersen (12 points, five assists).

Andale 60, Southeast 41

Southeast 12 5 10 14 41
Andale 21 12 12 15 60

SOUTHEAST: Plowden 2 0-3 4, Arline 3 0-4 7, Hardwell 3 2-3 8, Ines 2 0-0 4, Bullock 6 2-6 14, Brown 0 0-0 0, McCoy 0 0-0 0, Grim 1 0-0 2, Taylor 0 2-2 2. Totals 17 (1) 6-18 41.

ANDALE: E. Rowland 1 2-2 4, Meyer 6 4-4 18, R. Eck 2 2-2 7, J. Eck 5 3-4 13, L. Rowland 3 0-0 7, Maxwell 0 0-0 0, Martin 1 1-1 3, Ebert 4 0-0 8. Totals 22 (4) 12-13 60.

Manhattan 48, Valley Center 44

Valley Center 6 10 16 12 44
Manhattan 9 16 13 10 48

VALLEY CENTER: Wedekind 6, Johnson 8, Barnes 0, Webber 7, Williams 19, Crow 0, Anderson 4, Coleman 0. Totals 19 (3) 3-5 44.

MANHATTAN: McNair 7, Roberts 0, Thompson 13, Ballard 14, Price 9, Ehie 0, Fiser 0, Thaemert 5, Proctor 0, Shanower 0. Totals 17 (5) 9-15 48.

McPherson 68, Hays 28

Hays 3 4 17 4 28
McPherson 21 21 8 18 68

HAYS: Gagnon 9, Herman 4, Gulley 0, Braun 9, Schumacher 2, Schlaefli 2, Johnson 2, Desbien 0, Werth 0, Schoendaler 0, Hearld 0, Peckham 0. Totals 12 (1) 3-11 28.

McPHERSON: Ruder 6, Pyle 6, Pedersen 12, Barnes 7, Loecker 17, Bate 4, Willems 9, Scheidegger 0, Wedel 0, Hoffman 4, Ulsaker 0, Cooks 3. Totals 24 (7) 68.

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