The Maize South High School boys basketball players hosted their first game of the season Friday, but they trailed 29-5 at halftime.
That’s why their 65-57 loss to Goddard was both frustrating and impressive. Despite a deficit of 30 points in the third quarter, the Mavericks refused to give up and pulled within single digits before the end of the game.
Sophomore starter Kade Kordonowy said Maize South’s lesson from the matchup was to come out strong in every game.
“As we saw, we can play great in the second half and still lose,” he remarked.
The Mavericks had a disastrous first half, and Goddard opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run. That gave the visiting Lions a 35-5 advantage.
Maize South picked up two buckets in a row, and the Lions called for timeout at the 4:34 mark, when they led 35-9. They managed to score only two more baskets and three free throws in the rest of the quarter.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks rattled off 15 points but still had plenty of work to do. They were down 42-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
Kordonowy said their strategy in the second half was to get in the post and play with more intensity.
“We weren’t getting inside, we weren’t driving to the hole,” he added.
Maize South dominated the early part of the fourth quarter. Junior Brett Barney had a field goal and free throw then sophomore Paul Reichenberger grabbed a rebound and scored.
Goddard threw the ball out of bounds with 7:20 on the clock and, soon after, missed the front end of a one-and-one. Barney sank two of four free throws, and just like that, the Mavericks trailed only 42-31.
Goddard had stretched the lead to 15 points, 53-38, with 4:24 remaining in the game. However, the Mavericks put together a 9-3 run that pulled them within single digits, 56-47. Maize South used a timeout of its own with 3:04 left in the contest.
Goddard managed to keep the host at arm’s length long enough to finish with a win.
Kordonowy acknowledged that his squad had hoped to come out better Friday night.
“We had to claw our way back in,” he said.
Even so, the team never surrendered. Kordonowy explained that a negative attitude would have made things even worse for the Mavericks.
“We’ve just got to work hard all the time and play the best we can,” he said.
Barney anchored Maize South (0-2) with 14 points Friday. Senior Micah Kiser contributed 12 and Kordonowy chipped in 10.
Senior Joey SanMiguel scored a game-high 19 points for Goddard (2-1). Senior Colin Nevil and junior Tucker Vang had 11 apiece.