The Salina Central basketball teams got a split on Friday down in Haysville with the Campus Colts. The Lady Mustangs rolled to an easy victory and had two players set career highs in scoring while the top-ranked Campus boys broke open a close game early with a dominating middle two quarters.
Sophomore Aubrie Kierscht had recently set a career-high in points with a 27-point effort against Hays on the last day of January. On this night one week later, that mark would be eclipsed. The Campus girls struggled on both ends of the floor, and on defense they did not seem to realize how dangerous Kierscht can be. Whether it was splashing home three-pointers, making running floaters, or driving to the basket to draw fouls and get to the free throw line, Kierscht did what she wanted and her teammates did a great job of finding her when she was not the initial ball-handler.
As a team, Central came out with a strong effort on the defensive end, holding Campus scoreless until the 2:13 mark of the first quarter. By then, the Lady Mustangs had built a 14-0 lead. Behind nine points from Kierscht, they led 20-4 after the opening period and the rout was on. Kierscht hit a pair of threes and scored ten points in the second stanza, as Central built a 37-12 lead at the half.
In the second half, the Lady Mustangs continued to dominate and the Lady Colts had no answer for Kierscht. Scoring inside and outside, she tallied 13 points in the third to set a new career-high with 32 points. At the end of three quarters, Central led 55-19 and with a running clock in the fourth, head coach Chris Fear rested his starters and the reserves shut out Campus 8-0 in the final period for a 63-19 final score.
Kierscht was not the only one to set a new career-high on this night. Senior Sara Opat, who had been a reserve until the season-ending injury to senior Kadyn Cobb, knocked down a pair of treys and scored eight points. Her prior high was six in the S.I.T. against Concordia.
The win marked the third straight for Central as they moved to 12-2 overall while Campus fell to 1-13.
In the boys contest, the Mustangs were hoping to keep things close with the #1 team in 6A as they did in a 64-57 loss in the prior matchup on January 16. Central was able to stay within striking distance for a short while, and then the Colts got going.
After Nolan Puckett drained his second three-pointer of the night early in the second quarter, the game was knotted at 13-13. Campus then turned up the defensive pressure and would go on a 12-0 run. The Colts led 32-19 at the half, and began the second half with a 10-0 spurt, and all of a sudden the Mustangs were out of it completely.
Campus stretched the lead to 56-29 by the end of the third quarter, and shortly into the final period got the lead over 30 points to start the running clock. The Colts cruised to a 62-33 win, improving to 15-0 and dropping Central to 5-9 overall. Nine different Mustangs were able to score, with Puckett’s two threes and six points leading the way.
The Central basketball teams will be on the road again next Tuesday, to battle the Hutchinson Salthawks.