GIRLS: Central 64, Wichita West 18
The top seed in the girls bracket had no trouble in the first round of the 42nd Annual SIT, as the Central Mustangs rolled to a 46-point win over the Wichita West Pioneers at the Brickhouse.
Every Mustang in the book played in the contest and eleven scored. Mykayla Cunningham and Madison Freeman were back in the lineup after missing a week of action due to COVID-19 restrictions, and it was Cunningham setting the tone early with deflections and steals which led to several fastbreak opportunities. Central led 23-2 after one quarter and took a 39-4 lead into halftime. The Pioneers did not make a field goal in the first half, only making four of eight free throw attempts.
Midway through the third quarter, head coach Chris Fear took the starters out and utilized his entire bench the rest of the way. The group played well and kept the intensity that the starters began the game with. Up 60-11 after three, the Mustangs finished things off with a running clock in the fourth period.
Cunningham led the way with 14 points and Aubrie Kierscht added 11. The Mustangs (8-1) move on to the semifinal round, where they will meet the Andover Trojans, who defeated Concordia 45-22 in the opening round. It will be the second meeting of the season between the teams. On Jan. 8, Central defeated Andover 57-29. Friday’s game will tip at 5:00pm in the Brickhouse.
BOYS: Andover 70, Central 46
Almost two weeks ago, the Central Mustangs played the highly rated Andover Trojans close, ultimately falling by six points. They controlled the tempo and played tough defense to give them a chance to win. But on Thursday’s opening round SIT contest, turnovers led to trouble early on and the Trojans took advantage in cruising to a 24-point win.
Reed McHenry, back from a week off due to COVID-19 restrictions, scored the first basket of the game. Then, Andover scored 20 unanswered points. They made four threes in that stretch while the Mustangs went cold from the field. McHenry’s three ended the period and the Mustangs trailed 20-5.
As Andover extended their lead, Central got sped up and several ill-advised passes turned into easy points for the Trojans. They led by as many as 27 in the first half and led 40-17 at halftime.
To the Mustangs’ credit, they fought hard in the second half, slowly chipping the deficit for a while. With five minutes to go, the Trojan lead was down to 15 at 54-39. But another spurt from the visitors finished off the Mustangs down the stretch.
McHenry was terrific, scoring 23 points. Parker Kavanagh added eight including a pair of three-pointers. Jack Johnson led Andover with 20 points. The Mustangs fell to 2-7 while the Trojans improved to 9-1.
In the consolation bracket on Friday, Central will take on Wichita South, who fell to Buhler 65-56 on Thursday. The game will tip at 7:00pm from Lakewood Middle School.