It was the second straight top-five showdown for the Salina Central boys basketball team Tuesday night at the Brickhouse. After coming up short on Friday on the road against Goddard-Eisenhower, the Mustangs slugged out a 73-59 win over Maize South.
Coming off back to back 70-plus point performances, Maize South was held to a season-low 59 points by a stifling Mustangs defense. All-State candidate Kael Kordonowy entered the contest averaging 21 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks per game, but was held to a season low seven points by Salina Central.
The Mustangs jumped out to a 9-0 lead with 4:30 left in the first quarter. Maize South answered with a 12-2 run, and took a 12-11 lead in the first minute of the second session. The advantage was short-lived, as the Mustangs countered with a 13-3 burst to make it 24-15 with 3:12 to go before halftime.
Quin Stewart scored a season high nine points, all in the first half. Salina Central led 32-20 at the break.
Maize South trimmed the Central lead to 36-30 with 4:29 remaining in the third quarter. On the next possession, Central’s Mark Grammer drilled a right wing triple to push the lead to nine. Grammer hit another three, in fade-away fashion, to close out the third quarter. The buzzer-beater put Central on top, 50-34 heading into the fourth.
After pushing their lead to 17, Salina Central worked their way to the free throw line to close out a pesky Mavericks squad. Maize South got the deficit to single digits one more time with 1:27 left, 66-57, but never got any closer as they fell to 5-2 on the season.
Salina Central moves to 6-2, and remain unbeaten at home. Ethan Speer led the Mustangs with 20 points, while Sam Shaffer had 13.
The Mustangs travel to Maize for a doubleheader Friday. Pregame coverage starts at 5:45pm on 1150 KSAL.
SALINA CENTRAL 61, MAIZE SOUTH 30
The Salina Central girls basketball team played their most complete game of the season Tuesday night, according to coach Chris Fear. The Mustangs rolled to a 61-30 win over a Maize South team that entered with a 4-2 record.
Senior Myah Ward provided a huge lift for the Mustangs in the first half, hitting four three’s and finishing with 14 points at the break. Central held Maize South to nine first half points, and led 29-9 at intermission.
Salina Central put the game out of reach midway through the second quarter, then started the third session on a 6-0 burst. With the score 13-7 early in the second, the Mustangs went on a 22-2 run through the first minute of the third.
After shooting the Mavericks out of their 2-3 zone, the Mustangs pounded the ball inside in the second half. Elisa Backes finished the contest with 16 points, with most of her tallies in the final two quarters.
Salina Central moves to 6-2 on the season, and are still unblemished at home.