In another clash of AVCTL-I titans, No. 9 Salina Central looked to hand No. 1 Maize its first loss of the season on Friday.
Unfortunately, Maize used a 21-11 final quarter to pull away from the Mustangs for a 58-45 win.
After a back-and-forth first stanza, both teams were tied at 12-12. David Grammer would sink a couple of 3-pointers to give Central the lead early on in the second quarter, however, it was too much Brandle Easter Jr. in the second quarter, as he would score 11 of his 14 points in the game in the first half to lead Maize to a 26-20 halftime lead.
The third quarter was the most competitive of the night. While Maize held the lead all period, Central looked poised to strike at any point to steal the lead. The Mustangs trailed 35-34 with 15 seconds remaining in the third when the Eagles first a turnover. Maize would follow that with a thunderous alley-oop to Division-I prospect, Caleb Grill as the buzzer sounded. Maize led 37-34 after three.
With the momentum from the Grill alley-oop, Maize soared away in the final quarter to remain unbeaten on the year behind Devon Koehn’s offensive and defensive play.
With the win, Maize (19-0, 11-0 AVCTL-I) clinches the AVCTL-I league title out-right. The Eagles were led by Koehn’s 16 points. Easter scored 14, while Grill chipped in 13 points in the victory.
Salina Central (13-5, 6-5 AVCTL-I) played toe-to-toe with arguably the best team in all of the state for three-in-a-half quarters before falling behind too far. The Mustangs were led by Mark Grammer with 16 points, David Grammer with 13 and Harper Williams with 10.
Salina Central returns home Tuesday to host Newton.
Maize 62, SALINA CENTRAL 39
A close game early on turned in to a nightmare for the Salina Central girls basketball team.
After leading 8-7 after one, the Mustangs were outscored 39-21 over the next two quarters by the sixth-ranked team in class 5A. Maize used its length and athleticism to bother Salina Central’s offense all night as the Mustangs suffered 26 turnovers–16 in the first half alone.
Maize (16-3, 9-2 AVCTL-I) hit its first eight shots in-a-row in the third quarter. Sydney Holmes scored 14 and both Emily Laham and Bailey Miller scored 13 points, each.
Salina Central (10-8, 6-5 AVCTL-I) suffered their second-consecutive loss. Freshman, Aubrie Kierscht paced SC with 12 points off of four made 3’s, while fellow freshman, Hampton Williams, added in 10 points.
Salina Central will entertain the Newton Railers on Tuesday. Live coverage can be heard on Sportsradio 1150 KSAL at 5:45 p.m.