Girls: No. 2 Salina Central 64, No. 5 Goddard 36
On paper it was a top five match-up of Class 5A teams, but on the court it hardly looked the part thanks to another dominating performance by the Central Mustangs on Friday in Goddard.
Central left no doubt after one quarter, as they pushed the pace early to get looks at the rim. and then executed in the half-court to get opportunities from the perimeter. On the defensive end, the Mustangs were active and frustrated Goddard’s leading scorer Maycee James into several missed shots. Central led 24-6 after the first quarter, setting the stage for another comfortable victory.
Both sides struggled to score to begin the second quarter, but that suited the Mustangs just fine. They would get going again and went into the half with a 36-10 lead.
Goddard (7-2) defended Central guard Aubrie Kierscht fairly well. She hit a pair of threes but was otherwise held to those six points. The attention given to Kierscht opened the gates for Hampton Williams. Williams nailed five three-pointers in all and led the Mustangs with 19 points. Kierscht would heat up to score 11 points in the third quarter and Central (8-0) led 60-23 heading the fourth, initiating another running clock for the final period.
Boys: Central 60, Goddard 41
All it took was a little tough love at halftime, and the Central boys came out a different team in the second half. After struggling to get going offensively against an extended 1-3-1 trapping defense by the Lions, the Mustangs completely turned the tables on Goddard in the second half.
The Lions used a frenetic pace and aggressive defense to build an early 10-2 lead. Central would battle back from the slow start to tie the game at 15. However, Goddard answered with six straight points and would take a 26-20 lead into the locker room.
Coach Ryan Modin let his team know that the first half performance was not good enough and his group responded emphatically. Behind buckets from Micah Moore and Nolan Puckett along with a full-court press, the Mustangs began the second half on a 14-0 run and extended it to a 23-2 third quarter, holding the Lions without a field goal for the entire period.
Leading 43-28, Central (4-4) stayed solid and cruised down the stretch to snap a three-game slide. They were led by Sid Duplessis’ 17 points. Puckett drained four threes and scored 14 while Moore added 11. Goddard fell to 2-7 with the loss.
Next up: The Salina Invitational Tournament. Both Mustang teams will face Abilene on Thursday evening at the Brickhouse.