Seven years ago to the day, Aubrie Kierscht was a Junior Coach for then Salina Central girls basketball head coach Geoff Andrews. Kierscht witnessed Andrews’ team clinch a state tournament berth.
Fast forward to March 8, 2021 and Kierscht was ready for her moment in the spotlight.
In her first state tournament game, the Navy commit didn’t disappoint. Kierscht netted a career-high 34 points, fueling the Mustangs in their 66-38 state tournament quarterfinal victory over Seaman Monday night inside the Brickhouse. Salina Central moves on to the state semifinals for the first time since 2017.
Although Central coasted throughout the game, the start was a bit bumpy. Central turned the ball over four times while Seaman scored the first five points. Kierscht answered with back-to-back threes, sparking a 20-2 burst, putting Central on top 20-7 early in the second.
Seaman (8-15) trimmed the margin to 10 twice, but Central’s 25-point second frame was too much, giving Central a 40-21 halftime advantage.
Salina Central’s offense stalled a bit in the third, allowing Seaman to cut the margin to 12. Despite the nine points in the third, Central limited Seaman to 10 before logging 17 points in the final eight minutes.
Kierscht made six treys in her 34-point performance. Junior Lici Samilton chipped in nine points.
Seaman was paced by Brooklyn Gormley’s 11 points.
Salina Central (19-4) heads to White Auditorium in Emporia to face Andover Central (23-0). The Mustangs fell to the Jaguars 60-52 and 66-56 in the regular season. Tipoff Thursday is slated for 3 pm with pregame at 2:45 on 1150 KSAL.