Salina Central girls basketball ended 2019-20 on a sour note.
That disappointment led to a motivated start to a new season.
Junior Aubrie Kierscht made six threes, the defense held Campus to three first-half field goals, and the Lady Mustangs opened 2020-21 with a resounding 64-21 victory Friday night at the Brickhouse. No fans were in attendance following KSHSAA’s decision to not have fans through January 28th, 2021.
The Mustangs generated plenty of energy by themselves, specifically on the defensive end. Central held Campus to just one bucket in the first eight minutes of play. Offensively, Kierscht made four triples in the first, propelling Central to a 21-4 advantage.
Central’s effort didn’t let up in the second. Campus didn’t record its second bucket until the 4:27 mark of the second period. Salina Central led 40-12 at the break and 58-17 following the third frame.
Kierscht finished the game with 24 points. Mykayla Cunningham added 11.
CAMPUS 65, CENTRAL 58
Back in January 2020, Salina Central trailed Campus 56-55 with 1:30 to play. The Mustangs had back-to-back empty possessions, resulting in a 64-57 loss.
Different season, but same result at the Brickhouse.
Both teams were locked in from the start. The two squads traded buckets, ending up at 12-12 in the first. Campus pulled away, courtesy of buckets from junior Sterling Chapman as the Colts led 25-16 after one.
Chapman wouldn’t stop there. The Tulsa commit made two triples, pushing Campus’ advantage to 14 points. Central outscored Campus 12-5 the rest of the half, trimming the margin to 42-35 at the break.
The Mustangs inched closer to within two, but the Colts answered with 11-3 burst, building a 54-44 lead going into the fourth.
Salina Central didn’t go away as the Mustangs clawed to 57-56 with two minutes left in the contest. The Mustangs had two passes to senior Reed McHenry go off his fingertips. The turnovers in consecutive possessions allowed Campus to hang on for the victory.
Chapman finished with 25 points despite not registering a field goal in the second half.
Senior Caden Kickaefer paced the Mustangs with 18 points. McHenry added 17 and junior Nolan Puckett scored 11.
Salina Central hosts Eisenhower Tuesday. The doubleheader was originally scheduled for January 5th. However, with the COVID-19 guideline changes, the games have been moved up. Pregame at 5:45pm on 1150 KSAL.