MAIZE, Kan.—Maize High School basketball coach Chris Davis was apprehensive about the boys’ game Friday, Feb. 8.
Two starters were absent and the Eagles were hosting Campus. Maize beat the Colts by single digits, 64-57, in December.
“We’re playing well,” said Davis. “We’re getting better.”
The Eagles’ success Friday marked their fifth victory this season. They began the year with a new head coach and no returning starters after finishing 2011-12 with six wins.
Jared Luebbe was out with a sprained ankle Friday, and Connor Lungwitz was sick. Both boys are sophomore starters.
Maize held a 10-2 advantage in a game where Campus never led, but the Colts caught a break. The Eagles’ student section had thrown baby powder in the air to create a smoky effect at the start of Friday’s action, but officials stopped the game with 4:04 left in the first quarter so the powder could be swept off the court.
The action resulted in an administrative technical foul, and Campus senior Colton Flax hit one of two free throws. That kicked off a small flurry for the Colts, who scored the next three points and trailed 10-6.
Maize led 15-9 at the end of the period, and the second quarter proved disastrous for Campus. Maize outscored the Colts 11-2 to take a 26-11 advantage into halftime.
The Colts’ drought stretched into the second half. Senior Josh Strotkamp picked up the second-quarter bucket that gave Campus 11 points, and more than eight and a half minutes elapsed until the visitor scored again. Following a Colts timeout at the 4:09 mark in the third quarter, senior Marcus Saucedo hit a three-pointer to move his team’s total to 14.
At that point, however, Maize had accumulated 36 points on the night.
“It seemed like they were stuck on 11 forever,” said Davis.
Maize continued the onslaught and led 57-25 midway through the fourth quarter. Some Eagles who play few varsity minutes had a chance late in Friday’s game, but the final 3:08 saw Campus complete a 17-0 run. The Colts scored more points in the last 3:08 than they did in any previous quarter.
No Campus player scored more than six points Friday. Senior Tavon Morrow led Maize with 19 points, and junior Connor Eleeson contributed 12.
Davis said the Eagles did a good job guarding, boxing out and rebounding. He said Lungwitz would be back, and there was a chance Luebbe would return, for the next home game Tuesday against Goddard.
“If we won’t foul and we take care of the ball,” Davis added, “we’re usually pretty good.”