Andale drives through Buhler
McPHERSON Leading 10-6 after one quarter, Buhler’s girls basketball team didn’t look like the team that had lost by 14 to undefeated Andale in the season-opener.
But Andale kept going aggressively to the basket Thursday, resulting in 20 free throws and sinking 16 for a 43-39 victory in the opener of the Mid-America Classic.
Andale coach Mark Kerschen said it wasn’t pretty, but after recent opening losses in this tournament, he’d take it.
“Six or seven years ago, when we first decided to come up here, I told them there wasn’t any win that was going to be easy, and this one wasn’t,” he said. “We got a win the first round; we hadn’t got that the last couple of years.”
Freshman Brittney Meyer hit the last four free throws and 10 of 12 in the game – her only points.
“That’s the way we play basketball,” Meyer said. “We drive, and we get to the free-throw line. It’s just part of our basketball.”
Senior Jill Ast missed her first two free throws, then hit six straight and tied Meyer for scoring honors.
Without those points, Andale probably has the first blemish on its record, especially after shooting 29 percent from the field (13 of 45). But the Indians might not have a lot of time to savor it. The teams will meet for a third time next Thursday at Andale.
Andale (10-0) will face Haysin today’s semifinal. Hays topped unbeaten Manhattan 58-55 in overtime and will try to knock another team from the unbeaten ranks.
Kim Patterson led Buhler with 10 points. With about a minute left in the second quarter, Patterson drove the lane, fell hard and had to be helped from the court but later returned.
Andale forced 20 Crusaders turnovers, but it was one of the Indians’ eight turnovers that almost opened the door for Buhler (5-5).
Crusaders sophomore Taryn Torgerson hit a three-pointer with 18.6 seconds to play, pulling Buhler to within 41-39. Andale lost the ensuing inbounds pass, but a held ball gave it back to Andale with 8.4 seconds left. Meyer was fouled and sank both free throws for the final margin.
Buhler coach Brennan Torgerson – Taryn’s father – said the Crusaders just couldn’t keep it going.
“They just made more plays down the stretch than we did,” he said. “We gave ourselves a chance, but we just didn’t execute.”
Buhler: Sasse 3, Winter 5, Patterson 10, Keller 5, Williams 8, Torgerson 8. Totals 14 (6) 5-7 39.
Andale: R. Eck 7, Meyer 12, VenJohn 4, Rowland 4, J. Eck 4, Ast 12. Totals 13 (1) 16-20 41.
Hays 58, Manhattan 55 (OT) — Paige Lunsford of Hays (7-3) hit a step-back three-pointer to force overtime, then scored eight of her team’s 10 overtime points to hand Manhattan (8-1) its first loss. Lunsford, who finished with 21 points, missed the second of two free throws with 8.2 seconds left, but Manhattan couldn’t take advantage.
Gardner-Edgerton 37, Beloit 27 — Gardner-Edgerton (10-1) outscored Beloit (7-4) 13-2 in the third quarter, breaking an 18-18 halftime tie.
McPherson 80, Goddard 28 — McPherson (11-0) used seven three-pointers to take a 29-2 lead after one period and cruised past Goddard (3-8), shooting 78 percent in the first half. The Bullpups’ total exceeded their Dec. 9 home rout of the Lions, 79-39.
Goddard: Clasen 2, Foss 13, L. Rausch 7, E. Rausch 4, Scoggins 2. Totals 8 (1) 11-13 28.
McPherson: Ruder 6, Pyle 8, Hein 21, Pedersen 6, Willems 6, Bruner 16, Barnes 5, Hoffman 2, Loecker 10. Totals 33 (13) 1-9 80.