Andover holds off Maize South to move to 5A semis

Andover advances to the Class 5A semifinal round with a 49-46 win.
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 1:16 AM CST
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EMPORIA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - After the girls team advanced on Wednesday, the Andover boys had a chance Thursday to do the same. It took winning the closest matchup the first two days in Emporia to do it, but the Trojans got it done and both teams will play a semifinal contest.

After a back and forth start, Andover closed the first quarter strong and kept that momentum going through halftime, holding a 29-19 lead at the break with threes falling in their favor.

The lead got as big as 12 to open the second half, but then Maize South started their comeback. An 8-0 run got the deficit down to two possessions midway through the third. Then it steadily dropped into the 4th, with Maize South hitting the double bonus at more than 5 to go. Andover would push the lead back to 5 before the Mavs scored 6 in a row to take their first lead since early in the contest.

The teams traded buckets until Andover’s Josh Kim, scoreless to this point, came up with a big steal and breakaway basket that saw him get fouled as he went up. The Trojans took a 47-43 lead. An empty Maverick possession followed by Trojan free throws extended it to 6 with under 20 seconds to go.

Quickly running out of time, a Michael Kates prayer from the corner hit to get the deficit cut in half to 3. The ensuing in bound to Eli Shetlar saw the Mavs swarm him, and a travel was called before the Trojans could get a timeout called, giving the Mavericks a shot at sending it to OT. But that final possession the Andover defense proved too much, Kates’ attempt was not close, and time ran out on the Mavericks season, a 49-46 state quarterfinal loss.

Shetlar ended with a game best 15 for Andover, with Blake Rucker contributing 14 off the bench, 12 of those in the first half. Isaiah Atwater led the Mavs with 13 and Kates ended with 10.

Andover will now meet Highland Park for a spot in the 5A State Championship game after the Runnin’ Scots knocked off Basehor-Linwood to keep their perfect record in tact.