Kierscht Eclipses 1,000 Points as Central Girls Roll; Mustang Boys Win With Strong 2nd Half

GIRLS: Central 66, Goddard 34

The Salina Central girls capped off the week with another win in Goddard, this time cruising to 32-point victory over the Goddard High Lions. The Mustangs were coming off a 21-point win at No. 4 Eisenhower on Tuesday.

Junior Aubrie Kierscht led Central with 15 points on Friday, and her layup late in the second quarter put her over the 1,000 point mark for her career. She becomes the fifth player in Central girls basketball history since 2002 to score 1,000 points. Against Goddard, she also got help from her teammates as Chaliscia Samilton was strong in the post, scoring 12 points, and Landry Stewart splashed home three treys and scored 11. In all, ten different Mustangs scored in the contest, which was all but over by halftime.

Central started a bit slow with some turnovers in the open floor and Goddard led 6-4 after three minutes. But then, the Mustangs found their rhythm and completely dominated the rest of the first half. Kierscht had seven first quarter points as Central took a 20-8 lead after one. They got balanced scoring from Kierscht, Stewart and Mykayla Cunningham in the second and held the Lions to just one basket in the period. The Mustangs finished the first half on a 36-6 run to lead 40-12 at halftime.

The third quarter was played almost evenly and in the fourth, Coach Chris Fear was able to give some minutes to the entire bench and the game was capped with baskets from reserves Lexie Fischer, Azbey Peckham and Madison Freeman. Goddard was led by Maycee James who scored 17 points. The Lions dropped to 6-10 while Central improved to 12-4.

BOYS: Central 51, Goddard 30

The Mustangs were looking to get back in the win column after falling by a point across town to Eisenhower on Tuesday. Through one half, both Central and Goddard labored to run offense and put the ball in the basket.

Once again, the Mustangs started well, building a 10-3 lead in the first quarter. They would score one field goal for the rest of the first half. Whether it was a missed shot or a turnover, nothing seemed to work. But Goddard was not much better, despite the issues for the Mustangs, could only grab a two-point lead at 14-12 before Central inched back ahead 15-14 at the half.

But the Mustangs would get it going in the third quarter, and it started with defense. They forced the Lions into one jump shot after another, and the hosts were nearly as ice cold as the temperature outside. It took seven minutes for Goddard to score in the third quarter, before Jackson Lefevre knocked down an 18-footer. But in the seven minutes leading up to that, it was all Central, scoring the first 17 points of the period.

Reed McHenry, who had only two points at the half, exploded for 14 third quarter points. He got them on the break following a Goddard turnover or missed shot and he scored in the halfcourt, as a result of much better ball movement and teamwork by the Mustangs.

Central led 35-19 after three and finished strong going away as McHenry and Caden Kickhaefer provided the bulk of the scoring, while guards Hayden Vidricksen and Kenyon McMillan provided stifling defense on the other end. McHenry led the way with 20 points and Kickhaefer had 16. Goddard got 13 from Cam’Ron Moses, and the Lions needed a last-second three from reserve Landon Lickly just to get to 30 points. The Lions fell to 1-15, while the Mustangs got their second win over the Lions this season and improved to 6-10.

The Mustang teams are scheduled to host Valley Center next Tuesday.