SALINA CENTRAL 63, Hays 33
Salina Central made it to Saturday’s 5A Sub-State Championship with an unblemished record of 21-0. The only thing standing between them and their goal of reaching the 5A State Tournament was a red hot Hays team, whom Central had beaten back in late January.
The Mustangs were not to be denied.
Central controlled the opening tip, and perhaps in a bit of foreshadowing, Aubrie Kierscht put the Mustangs ahead 3-0 just six seconds into the contest by hitting a wide open three to begin the game. Central would never relinquish it.
The Mustangs would lead 15-8 after the opening quarter, and stretch their lead to 20 points by halftime. It would only expand further from there.
Aubrie Kierscht led the charge for Central, tallying 29 points and hitting five three pointers in the 63-33 win.
Salina Central, now 22-0 on the season, secured its second-straight trip to the 5A State Tournament with the win, while simultaneously clinching the top seed in the tournament.
The Mustangs will be back in action on Thursday in the quarterfinal round, likely meeting De Soto, but official brackets will be released in the coming hours.
The 5A field has been whittled down to only the top remaining squads, including defending state champions St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as the team which ended Salina Central’s 2021 season in the state semifinals, Andover Central.
The full field of eight includes; Salina Central (22-0), St. Thomas Aquinas (20-2), Bishop Carroll (19-3), Lansing (19-3), Emporia (17-5), Andover Central (17-5), Spring Hill (16-6), and De Soto (15-7).
Hays High – 8 – 6 – 12 – 7 / 33
Salina Central – 15 – 19 – 19 – 10 / 63
Salina Central: Aubrie Kierscht 29 points. Hampton Williams 8 points. Landry Stewart, Mykayla Cunningham, Chaliscia Samilton all with 7 points. Tyler Vidricksen 3 points. Callan Hall 2 points.
Hays High: Molly Martin 12 points. Jersey Johnson, Jillyan Sheldon each with 6 points. Carly Lang, Claire Humphrey 3 points each. Aleyia Ruder 2 points. Morgan Engel 1 point.