McPherson’s girls doubled the score on Labette County in the second half Friday, rolling to a 67-46 semifinal victory.
The third-seeded Bullpups bolted from a 31-28 halftime advantage and boosted the lead to as many as 22 with 2:47 to play. McPherson hit 65 percent from the field in the second half and 52 percent for the game.
In Saturday’s final at 4 p.m., the Bullpups (22-1) will face No. 4 seed Bishop Miege (22-2), which ousted top-seeded Kansas City Piper, 46-35, in the first semifinal of the day. It was the Pirates’ first loss of the season after 22 victories, and the Pirates will try to get back on the winning track in the third-place game against Labette County at noon.
Seemingly, it was a typical McPherson girls game. Senior Taylor Robertson finished with 24 points and nine rebounds, hitting nine of 19 shots from the field, including 5 of 12 from deep. She was backed by 12 points from sophomore Lakin Schieferecke.
Labette County (22-2), seeded second, stood toe-to-toe with McPherson in the first half, led by 5-7 senior Tristan Gegg. She scored 20 of the Grizzlies’ 28 first-half points, helping Labette stay within three points at the break.
In the second half, McPherson wore down the Grizzlies, starting with the 15-4 run coming out of halftime. Labette County never really threatened after that.
Labette County still stayed even in the rebounding category, with 29 to McPherson’s 30 for the game.
Gegg was lifted late in the game, finishing with 31 points and eight rebounds on 11 of 27 shooting. She also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Junior Payton Smith was the only other Grizzly in double figures, with 10 points. Labette County only hit 1 of 10 three-pointers in the second half and had four for the game.
Robertson did her part in the opening half, finishing with 15 of the Bullpups’ total. Sophomore Lakin Schieferecke scored seven points to back Robertson.
She scored six points in the third quarter, when McPherson broke away and outscored Labette County 23-13 in the period.
If there were a negative to McPherson’s first half, it would be in the foul category, where the Bullpups were called for twice as many (12-6) as Labette County in the first half. But even late in the game, only one Bullpup had three fouls, and the rest had one or two.
The Bullpups shot 43 percent from the field in the first half, compared with 37 percent for Labette County. The Grizzlies held a slight 19-16 lead in rebounding, but McPherson caught them in that total with 5 minutes to play at 26 apiece.