MAIZE, Kan. —The Maize High School girls entered their home game Friday, Feb. 8, with a 14-1 record while Campus was 5-10 on the season.
Many expected the Eagles – the No. 2-ranked basketball team in Class 6A – to dominate, but Campus led 29-26 at halftime. Maize regained its footing in the second half and prevailed 56-46.
Campus benefited from perimeter shooting early in the game. Senior Bailey Clark hit a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter, and sophomore Hayley Leeper drained one in the first and one in the second.
“We just didn’t have anybody on them,” said Handy.
The teams were tied 22-22 with 2:13 left in the second quarter. Junior Jordan Keck scored five points during a 7-2 run that left the Colts ahead 29-24.
Sophomore Keiryn Swenson’s basket at the end of the first half brought Maize within three, 29-26. Handy said his players did not guard well before halftime but performed better in the second half.
Maize trailed 31-27 when senior Paige Lungwitz picked up a bucket and then the Eagles stole the ball. Lungwitz scored another field goal and was fouled on the play. Despite a Campus timeout just before her free throw, Lungwitz collected the and-one to give Maize a lead it would not relinquish. Lungwitz had propelled the Eagles to a 32-31 advantage with nearly seven minutes remaining in the third quarter. She and Swenson combined for a 6-0 run to increase their cushion, 38-31.
Campus narrowed the deficit to three, 38-35, near the end of the third quarter but junior Brayden Bird’s basket and sophomore Saige Baalman’s free throw sent the Eagles into the fourth quarter up 41-35.
Maize dominated in the fourth with stifling defense. The girls grabbed steals and picked off passes, including an inbounds pass. Handy used different matchups on defense, and he said the Eagles were more focused late in the game and it showed with better execution and better passing.
Maize sophomore Daley Handy sank one free throw and missed the second at the 2:33 mark, when the Eagles led 54-39. Campus regained possession but did not play with a sense of urgency. The Colts repeatedly passed the ball as valuable seconds ticked away and, finally, Maize managed another steal. Campus added a few buckets down the stretch but did not attempt three-pointers. The Eagles went on to win 56-46.
Lungwitz led the home team with 18 points, followed by Swenson with 17. Clark anchored Campus with 14 points and Leeper was close behind with 13.