Opening night of the 2022-2023 season is upon us and the Salina Central Mustangs were kicking it off on the road against the Maize Eagles. The Mustangs got off to a hot start going on a 5-0 run right out of the gate. After an early timeout by Maize, the Eagles went on to dominate the rest of the 1st quarter outscoring the Mustangs 13-4 after the 5-0 run that started the game for Salina Central. At the end of the 1st Quarter the Mustangs found themselves trailing 13-9. It was all Maize in quarter number two as they outscored the Mustangs 15-7 in the second quarter to take a 28-16 lead going into the half. The Eagles hot hands were led by #2 Brayden Myovela who finished the first half with a team leading 7 points and #23 Tay Williams who had 4 points and 4 rebounds going into halftime. For the Mustangs it was a quiet first half offensively with Dylan Puckett being the go to guy with 5 points and 4 rebounds. As the Mustangs went into the half down by 12 on the road you had the feeling this game might be slipping away. After a slow start to the 3rd quarter where the Mustangs found themselves down by as many as 14 points in came the freshman #44 Kaden Snyder for Salina Central. After not stepping on the court in the first half Snyder came into the game for the first time this season midway through the 3rd quarter and made an immediate impact. Salina Central went on a run at the end of the 3rd quarter with some exceptional shooting and great defense led by Snyder and Dt Jones to pull within 6 points as we headed into the 4th. Quarter number 4 could not have been more competitive as both teams exchanged punches in what became possibly the game of the night in 5a basketball. After trailing by 14 midway through the 3rd quarter the Mustangs found themselves within 1 down 46-45 with 58 seconds left to play. After Dt Jones forced a turnover on the defensive side he turned around and made the go ahead basket with 51 seconds to go to give the Mustangs their first lead since early in the first quarter. After a timeout by Maize, senior Jaxon Booth drove in and drew a foul with 42 seconds to play. Booth drillied both free throws to give Maize a 48-47 lead. The Mustangs turned it over immediately after and Jay Williams for Maize drew an and-1 foul to make it 51-47 in favor of the Eagles. With 9 seconds left to play the Mustangs trailed 52-47, a last second three pointer by Dez Gibson made it 52-50 with 1.7 seconds on the clock. The Mustangs ultimately fell to the Eagles after an incredible comeback. The Mustangs comeback was led by Dt Jones who had 10 points in the 2nd half and Snyder who had 10 points and 5 rebounds. It was an incredible effort by the Mustangs in the second half and it was led by Senior Dt Jones and freshman Kaden Snyder, both with 10 points each in the second half.
Tonight’s Nex Tech Wireless player of the game goes to freshman Kaden Snyder. Synder was a big reason for the Mustangs comeback and had 10 points and 5 rebounds in the contest against Maize, all coming in the second half.
-Senior DT Jones is an honorable mention with 10 points in the second half as well.
Tonight’s H&R Block of the Game goes to Chrsitian Arnat who played tremendously down low in the post and finished with 6 rebounds and had tonight’s H&R Block of the game.