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Central Knocks Off Reigning Champion Andover

staff - January 21, 2014 9:59 pm

In a rematch of last year’s S.I.T championship, it was Salina Central getting the best of Andover in round one, as the Mustangs defeated the Trojans at the Salina Central gym 62-58.

Central built an early 6-2 lead, but an 11-0 run by Andover to close the first quarter gave the Trojans a 13-6 advantage after a period. The Trojans would build their lead to double digits, but the Mustangs closed the half on an 11-2 run sparked by a three point basket by Treyton Hines before the buzzer, and trailed at the break 30-29.

The Mustangs went against the grain in the second half, implementing a zone defense, which stymied the Trojans offensive attack. Salina Central outscored Andover 17-9 in the third quarter and led at the end of three 46-39. The fourth quarter resembled a prize fight between two heavyweights, but the Mustangs would not relinquish the lead. Treyton Hines hit clutch free throws down the stretch with Central leading 60-58, and blocked a 3 point shot by Bryant Klusener with 2 seconds left into the hands of Braden Neuschafer. He converted his free throws and iced the victory for the Mustangs by a final of 62-58.

Free throw shooting proved to be a huge difference in the game. Salina Central went 27-31 from the foul line while Andover converted only 5-10 charity stripe shots. The Mustangs were led by 20 points from Treyton Hines. Last years tournament MVP Adam DeKoning of Andover led the Trojans with 18 points.

Salina Central is now 6-4 on the season and advance to the semi-finals of the tournament on Thursday where they will meet the #1 seed Concordia Panthers.