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Mustangs to Play for First State Title

Mike Hammett - March 14, 2014 9:02 pm

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The Salina Central girls basketball team will play for the program’s first state championship on Saturday at the Kansas Expocentre, after the Mustangs rolled past Great Bend 76-58 in the Class 5A semifinals on Friday night in Topeka.

The Mustangs opened the game strong, dominating the first 14 minutes. Central scored the first eight points, using a three by Emily Wood, a basket by Hailey Mayfield, and a three-point play by Shaelyn Martin to lead 8-0 with 6:23 to go first half.

After a three by McKenna Mauler got Great Bend on the board, the Mustangs went on a 9-2 run to take a 17-5 lead. The Mustangs would push the lead to 13 at the end of one, 22-9.

In the second quarter, Central continued to work on the lead. The Mustangs used a 7-0 run, thanks to another basket from Mayfield, a three by Brooke Peters and free throws from Emily Wood to go up 34-15 with 4:31 to go before the break.

The two sides would trade buckets until another three by Peters pushed the Mustang lead to 20 at 41-21 with 1:51 left in the half.

Then, Great Bend took over. The Panthers scored the final 10 points of the half to cut the deficit in half and take the momentum into the locker room. Central led 41-31 at the break.

In the second half, Great Bend would cut the deficit to nine at 45-36, but then Central took back over. Madi Carlgren canned a three, and was followed by a basket by Martin and more free throws from Wood to complete a 7-0 run as Central led 52-36. The Mustangs were up 63-46 after three.

In the final frame, Central continued to pull away. The Mustangs led by as much as 23 at 75-52, rolling to the 76-58 win.

Central was led by a career-high 25 points from Martin, while Wood added 18 and Peters had 11. Martin added seven rebounds, five assists and four steals to her point total.

Great Bend was paced by Lauren Welsch with 12 points off the bench.

Salina Central is 23-1 and faces top-seed and 23-1 Leavenworth for the state championship on Saturday. The Pioneers defeated Kapaun Mount Carmel in the other semifinal. Tip-off is scheduled for 4pm at the Kansas Expocentre, with pregame coverage at 3:50 on SportsRadio 1150 KSAL.

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