Salina Central boys basketball coach Doug Finch had trouble trying to remember a night like David Grammer’s.
The senior poured in a career-high 38 points, Central’s offense drained 16 threes, and the Mustangs rolled the New Railers, 80-43, inside the Brickhouse Tuesday night. Grammer’s 38 is the most since Brayden Neuschafer scored 37 against Andover in overtime at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center in the Salina Invitational Tournament semifinals on January 20, 2017.
Central’s 80 points is also a season high and the most since December 16, 2016 when the Mustangs recorded 82 against Salina South.
Salina Central (14-5, 7-5 AVCTL-I) took control early, jumping out to a 20-8 advantage with Grammer scoring 11. Newton (10-9, 6-5) trimmed the deficit to eight, 23-15, before the Mustangs countered with a 12-5 spurt to end the half, leading 35-20.
Senior Harper Williams knocked out the Railers for good, hitting four of his five threes in the third period. Williams finished with 15 points while sophomore Caden Kickhaefer played his best game, netting a career-high 16 points. “Little Kick” had four triples to go with his stellar defense on Newton’s Damarius Peterson, who was held to six points on two made field goals.
Newton star Ty Berry paced the Railers with 18 points on four treys, but Grammer stole the night with his six threes.
Salina Central welcomes Andover Central Thursday for the regular-season finale. Pregame starts at 5:45 on Sports Radio 1150 KSAL.
Newton 58, Salina Central 47
Much like the first contest, Newton outmatched Salina Central in the second half.
The first eight minutes belonged to Central (10-9, 6-6 AVCTL-I) as freshman Aubrie Kierscht lit up the scoreboard with 11 points, including a pair of threes to start the contest. After building a 15-11 advantage, the Mustangs pushed the margin out to seven, 18-11 early in the second.
Newton (9-10, 6-5) had other plans, cutting the margin to two before ultimately trailing 26-22 at the break.
Once the Railers grabbed their first lead, 28-27 at the 6:05 mark of the third, they never looked back, ballooning the cushion to 41-35 through three.
Central fell behind by 11 late in the contest and had one final attack. The Mustangs slashed the deficit to five with a chance at bringing it down to two, but the three ball didn’t fall.
Kierscht ended up with a team-high 21 points. Senior Selah Merkle added 16.
For Newton, Desiray Kernal recorded a monster double-double of 25 points and 21 rebounds. Jenisa Cornejo chipped in 11.