The Maize South High School boys basketball team traveled to Andover Central on Tuesday and lost 51-42. It was the second time the Mavericks, now 1-4, fell to a team by single digits.
“I don’t think our kids ever quit,” Maize South coach Kip Schultz said Tuesday.
Andover Central led 12-11 at the end of the first quarter, and the Jaguars increased the distance to enter halftime with a 25-18 lead.
The home team opened the second half with four unanswered points, but after a Maverick timeout at the 6:43 mark, Maize South responded with four of its own. Andover Central was ahead 29-22 and then senior Zac Zarich scored back-to-back buckets, giving his squad a double-digit advantage, 33-22.
Maize South couldn’t close the gap and trailed 35-24 at the end of the third quarter. Schultz said the Mavericks’ strategy in the final stanza was to try to chip away at the inside game and get 6-3 sophomore starter Kade Kordonowy some easy looks.
Andover Central was up 40-26 when Zarich was whistled with a technical foul for hanging on the rim. Maize South senior Micah Kiser capitalized with two free throws, and although Zarich added a basket, Kordonowy picked up two more free throws to pull the Mavericks within 12, 42-30.
Maize South junior Austin Bally grabbed a steal and followed up with a field goal. A traveling call against Andover Central gave Maize South possession again, and Kordonowy’s bucket with three minutes on the clock reduced the Mavericks’ deficit to single digits, 42-34.
The teams traded baskets for the rest of the period but Andover Central held off its opponent 51-42.
Although Andover Central outscored Maize South 23-13 in the second and third quarters combined, the Mavericks beat the host 18-16 in the fourth quarter.
“Ultimately we just ran out of time,” said Schultz.
He explained that when the Mavericks were pressed for time, they lacked the urgency to get the ball down the floor. In addition, they were shooting about 20 percent from three-point range, so he said coaches may have to limit their attempts until they shoot with more confidence from the perimeter.
Schultz mentioned the absence of junior Brett Barney, who continues to miss games due to a knee injury. The coach praised Andover Central senior Cameron Hurley, who played an “outstanding” game in penetrating and getting to the rim, he said.
Hurley scored a game-high 22 points. Senior Kolten Holinde contributed 10. The Jaguars will head into Christmas break with a 5-1 record.
Kiser and Kordonowy anchored Maize South with 16 points apiece Tuesday. The Mavericks will face Wichita West on Friday, Jan. 5, at Hartman Arena.