GIRLS: No. 3 Salina Central 83, Campus 22
There really was nothing to complain about whatsoever about the Central girls basketball team’s performance Friday at Campus High. From start to finish they played great basketball on both ends of the floor. Coach Chris Fear used his entire bench and the reserves got plenty of playing time. Add it all up and the Mustangs rolled by 61 points over the Colts (0-3).
Central (3-0) scored the first 16 points and never looked back. It was 28-5 after one quarter and 53-8 at halftime. The starters were finished by the middle of the 3rd quarter and the clock ran continuously in the 4th.
Five Mustangs scored in double figures: Aubrie Kierscht 17 (5 threes), Mykayla Cunningham 15, Chaliscia Samilton 13, Hampton Williams 12, and Azbey Peckham 10 (8 for 8 from the free throw line).
BOYS: Salina Central 52, Campus 49
As comfortable as the girls game was for the Mustang faithful, the boys game was anything but. Campus has been one of the best programs in 6A for the past two seasons, but started this season 0-2. They have played short-handed but in front of their fired up home crowd they gave Central everything it could handle.
The Colts’ defense pressured the Mustangs into turnovers and missed shots. Central never got into a rhythm in the first quarter and fell behind 10-3. Their defense did keep in the game at the start and in the second quarter, things began to turn around. Micah Moore made a couple of field goals and then Nolan Puckett hit a pair of threes and suddenly the Mustangs went in front. They increased the advantage to six at the break, 25-19.
In the second half, Central quickly racked up fouls including two intentional fouls. Campus got into the bonus quickly but the Mustangs weathered the storm and led 40-33 at the end of three.
As the fourth quarter progressed, the Colts turned up their pressure defense and Central went cold for a few minutes. A couple of threes and some foul shots gave Campus a 48-43 lead with two minutes to play. It seemed the Mustangs had let it slip away.
However, Central was able to get to the line on a couple of occasions down the stretch. Ethan Waters hit a pair of foul shots to bring the Mustangs within one at 49-48 with less than a minute to go. Central then forced a turnover and got the ball to Kenyon McMillan who scored on the fastbreak for a 50-49 lead with 30 seconds left.
Campus ran the clock down to 8.3 seconds and called timeout. But their play was blown up and McMillan retrieved a loose ball and was fouled with 2.4 seconds. He hit two free throws to increase the lead to 3. The Colts had one final chance but a pass to mid-court was knocked away and the clock ran out.
The Mustangs (2-1) had three players (Moore, Puckett, and Waters) finish with 11 points. They shot 18 of 27 at the line. Campus (0-3) got 16 points each from Zion Young and Andrew Howard.
Central finally gets to play at home in the Brickhouse next week, starting Tuesday with Ark City coming to town.